The sold-out 15th annual Two x Two for AIDS and Art gala was, yet again, a celebrity-studded fete. Chairperson Christen Wilson and longtime hosts Cindy and Howard Rachofsky welcomed more than 500 supporters to the Richard Meier-designed Rachofsky House for the elite affair.
This spectacular benefit dinner and contemporary art auction raised $5 million through the sale of exquisite artworks, luxury and fashion goods, and experiences. Funds benefit amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art.
“By raising $5 million, this landmark year is a testament to the continued support for AIDS research at amfAR,” Howard said. “This event would not be possible without the generosity of the renowned artists, gallerists and event patrons who have helped us raise $45 million over the past 15 years.”
Todd Fiscus of Todd Events was given the task of designing this year’s space, and it should come as no surprise that he dreamed up something bigger and better than ever — literally. Fiscus brought in Polish company Freedomes to create the largest Freedome ever installed in the United States. The 7,000-square-foot, 48-foot-tall geodesic dome kept gala guests safe from the continuous rainfall.
Fiscus was a very busy man indeed, as he served as ring leader for the circus-themed Two x Two First Look presented by Michele Watches just two nights prior. Ever-popular DJ Lucy Wrubel providing the soundtrack for the evening as attendees mingled around the pool behind the Rachofsky House during this more light-hearted soiree.
But back to the main event. The gala included cocktails, dinner, and silent and live auctions, in which 142 works of art were up for grabs. Arts patrons — including Gilles Marini, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jesse Metcalfe, China Chow, Melissa Meeks Ireland, Nasiba Adilova, Brian Bolke, Elaine Agather and Jennifer Eagle — bid on artworks by 2013 amfAR honoree Luc Tuymans as well those by Israel Lund, Rosemarie Trockel, Garth Weiser and Ugo Rondinone.
In addition, amfAR CEO Kevin Frost presented the 2013 amfAR Leadership Award to Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl’s Since 1851, for his longtime commitment — both personally and professionally — to amfAR, its programs and mission. But the evening’s highlight, if we had to pick one, had to be the special performance by Grammy Award winner Gladys Knight, who brought down the house.
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 $45 million in support of essential AIDS research at amfAR and for the Contemporary Art Acquisitions Fund at the Dallas Museum of Art.