RE:DEFINE art auction and gala, benefiting the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Dallas Contemporary, always is one of the most highly anticipated events of the spring social calendar. This year was no exception to the rule.
Stylish guests strolled into the Dallas Contemporary and found themselves surrounded by one of the best collections of art in the event’s history, with covetable works by the likes of Sterling Ruby, Marc Quinn, and 2016 honoree Enoc Perez on display. Curator Neville Wakefield cited his approach of pairing emerging artists with museum-quality work as the methodology to his magic.
After remarks by co-hosts Joyce Goss and Kenny Goss, honoring Tim Headington and the Headington Companies for their contributions to the Dallas art world, guests tucked into a hearty meal of roasted filet of beef with beet puree provided by The Joule.
Dapper auctioneer Simon De Pury was back after an absence of a few years, and his energetic delivery helped kick off the festivities in great style. De Pury announced, “I'm very happy to be back in Dallas where I had the privilege to conduct the first two [MTV] auctions. I also love Dallas. I’m so old that I’ve been here when there was this Dallas TV show!”
Unlike most galas, when it would be considered gauche to stay glued to your phone all evening, De Pury actually encouraged such behavior so that guests could continue to drive up the bids on the silent auction. But let’s face it: The live auction is what everyone came for. Wakefield, Kenny Goss, and Contemporary executive director Peter Doroshenko made it possible to sell 15 unique works of art.
The bidding came fast (if not entirely furious), with Howard Rachofsky snagging a Rob Pruitt, and Jim Crown taking home a vivid Michael Craig-Martin. Two anonymous collectors won Marc Quinn eye paintings at $320,000 a pop. That’s $640,000 for 20/20 vision!
Other hits were works by Bruce Weber, Damien Hirst, and Dan Colen. The latter sold for nearly $200,000 when De Pury prompted the winning bidder, “Don’t listen to your husband; listen to Kenny Goss!”
Then the evening shifted to allow MTV Staying Alive Foundation executive director Georgia Arnold to call for patrons to contribute funds to directly combat the global rise of HIV. It was a great reminder of why RE:DEFINE remains so significant, having raised more than $6 million to date.
British pop singer Leona Lewis performed a stripped-down set that showed off her spectacular pipes, then revelers moved back into the main space for an after-party fueled with cocktails by Midnight Rambler and set to the soundtrack of — what else? — MTV’s greatest hits.
Party people included Rob Brinkley, Gavin Delahunty, Capera Ryan, Brian Bolke, John Clutts Tim Flannery, Tammy Cotton Hartnett, Bridget Hall, Jeffrey Lee, Chandra North, Rajan Patel, Terri Provencal, Chuck Steelman, Anne and Steve Stodghill, Jeremy Strick, Nancy and Jason Koen, and Megan and Brady Wood.