With a theme like “Calling All Curious,” Two x Two’s annual gala and contemporary auction’s kickoff party was bound to be full of surprises. The unseasonable rain, however, wasn’t high on anyone’s list of expectations.
But you can’t keep a good soiree down, particularly when it benefits the Dallas Museum of Art and amFAR. A crowd of curators and collectors descended en masse through the downpour to the Rachofsky House, conveniently tented and staffed by umbrella’d attendants for the occasion. Telephones on stands at the entrance jangled merrily, and if a guest happened to answer, a voice on the other end inquired, “Are you coming in or what, and are you going to eat a cheeseburger?”
Mini cheeseburgers there were, along with a sushi bar and other delectables from Lombardi Family Concepts, plus plenty of Belvedere cocktails. Presented by Fossil, the “curious” theme was further developed by the décor, which included a wooden wall full of keyholes where brave revelers could stick their hands to be tickled, grasped, or shook. DJ Lucy Wrubel acknowledged the lousy weather by spinning “Singin’ in the Rain” and “It’s Raining Men” between hits by the Weeknd and Taylor Swift.
Because carefully curated art is the engine of Two x Two, the partygoers who did take the “masquerade” dress code to heart chose artistic legends for their ensembles. There were three Warhols, one Lichtenstein, four Magrittes, and a Frida Kahlo (Fossil’s curious chief Jill Elliott-Sones) onsite. One of the best — and funniest — was curator and art advisor John Runyon, who came as TV star and painter Bob Ross (he of the “little happy trees” fame), complete with a painter’s palette.
There was plenty to get excited about on the walls as well. This year’s selection of artworks is particularly stellar, with a mix of local and international talent. Smart bidders on October 24 could snag an Ellsworth Kelly (this year’s artist honoree), an Alex Israel, an Alex Prager, or a Karen Kilimnick. Forty Five Ten’s Brian Bolke was seen coveting a marble bowl by Piero Golia, creator of the Nasher’s Chalet installation.
“We have the world’s coolest entryway, and I would make a little pedestal for it,” he said. “People would probably use it as a big ashtray. Actually, the artist would love that!”
Besides Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, who came dressed as Raggedy Ann and Andy, the star of the evening was undoubtedly co-chairman Elaine Agather, who helmed the event with her daughter, Bradley Agather Means. Clad in a dead-on imitation of style icon Iris Apfel, Elaine admitted, “I’m a big fan! This is all from my closet, so we might have some similarities.”
She said she loves Two x Two for multiple reasons: “For one, the art. It gives back to the community, it gives to the museum, it gives to AIDS. And it just brings this eclectic, wonderful group to Dallas. It’s just one of the best events we have.”
We concur. Two x Two has raised more than $52 million for the DMA and amFAR to date, and we’re even more curious to discover the final tally raised on Saturday.
Also onsite and ready to revel: Brooke Hortenstine, Dan and Joseph, Sabrina Dee, Ceron, Todd Fiscus, Michael Flores, Rajan Patel, Jeffrey Lee, Nancy Rogers, Sam Saladino, and Anna-Sophia van Zweden.