Art, fashion, and philanthropy came together for one star-studded night on October 22, when the most glamorous art patrons from Dallas and beyond gathered for the 18th annual Two x Two for AIDS and Art. The fundraising began in earnest at First Look, followed by this main event that always attracts celebrities and major collectors to the Richard Meier-designed Rachofsky House.
The black-tie benefit and art auction, chaired by Nancy C. Rogers, raised an impressive $7.5 million to benefit amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, and the Dallas Museum of Art.
“The success of Saturday night’s event is due to the unmatched generosity of the artists, gallerists, and Two x Two supporters from across the United States and overseas. Their commitment is unparalleled, and their donations of amazing art have allowed us to raise over $7.5 million, bringing our 18-year total to over $67 million,” says Howard Rachofsky, who co-hosted the event with wife Cindy.
The evening began with a Dom Pérignon and Belvedere cocktail reception, setting the scene for some 500 guests — including Eric Muscatell, John Benjamin Hickey, Zoe Saldana, Marco Perego, Olya Sinitsyna, Andy Beal, Tim Headington, Marguerite Steed Hoffman, Tom Lentz, Brian Kelly, Nancy Nasher, David Haemisegger, Candice and Tony Romo, Deedie Rose, Lisa and John Runyon, Rosie Assoulin, Nish de Gruiter, Prabal Gurung, Nasiba and Thomas Hartland-Mackie, Thomas Keller, and Laura Cunningham — to browse the art and luxury item silent auctions, which boasted 134 works of art, as well as 10 luxury packages.
The live auction, conducted by longtime Two x Two auctioneer Jamie Niven, featured Untitled by artist Laura Owens, which sold for $1.2 million.
As the auctions wound down, guests took their seats for dinner in the Freedome, a 7,000-square-foot geodesic dome designed by Todd Fiscus of Todd Events, who carried out a silver and mirrored theme for the event.
Following a few remarks by the Rachofskys, Rogers, Gavin Delahunty, and Dr. Agustín Arteaga, master of ceremonies Teddy Sears introduced a “sponsor thank you” video by longtime amfAR and Two x Two supporter Alan Cumming.
As the evening wore on, artist Laura Owens was honored with amfAR’s 2016 Award of Excellence for Artistic Contributions to the Fight Against AIDS. Then Sears introduced featured entertainer Ricky Martin. Always a highlight of the evening, past years have seen the likes of Robin Thicke and Gladys Knight.
The annual black-tie gala, part of a week-long series of events, is the largest U.S. fundraiser for amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art. Since its inception, Two x Two for AIDS and Art has raised over $67 million in support of essential AIDS research at amfAR and for the Contemporary Art Acquisitions Fund at the Dallas Museum of Art.