Dallas' most rousing art gala impresses with fundraising and fashion prowess
A homecoming celebration is always more festive, and MTV RE:DEFINE’s return to the Goss-Michael Foundation was no exception to the rule. But this time, the event had a more international and fashionable feel, with art world movers and shakers from around the globe in town for the Dallas Art Fair joining the stellar host committee of nearly 200 local luminaries — dressed in everything from full-length straw skirts to velvet party pants printed with butterflies.
“I love the energy in Dallas,” announced the Art Production Fund co-founder Yvonne Force Villareal, who brought Friends With You’s Light Cave to the Dallas Contemporary for the weekend.
Having raised more than $4 million to date for the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, MTV RE:DEFINE is significant in its charitable impact, but it’s an equally important occasion for the artists who are asked to participate. For up-and-comers like Oliver Clegg and Friends with You’s Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, the opportunity to share the spotlight with some of the art world’s heaviest hitters while fighting the global rise of HIV makes it an unmissable event.
Patrons were definitely in the mood to give, to party and to purchase from the carefully curated silent auction. Gallerist Erin Cluley had her eye on a piece by Nathan Green, while Justine Ludwig of the Dallas Contemporary had Shilpa Gupta’s photographic work on her wish list.
After sampling cocktails provided by the Midnight Rambler, guests moved into a large tent for a performance by I.U.D. and a divine dinner from Americano, The Joule’s new Italian-inspired restaurant launching in fall 2015. After indulging in swordfish and fennel, tenderloin, and porchetta with polenta, everyone settled back for the auction, a highlight of which was a video of friends, family and art world heavies honoring Michael Craig-Martin.
Arguably one of the most beloved figures in modern art, Craig-Martin nonetheless admitted he was “completely overwhelmed” by the tribute, calling it his “Academy Award moment.” Dapper auctioneer and Paddle8 co-founder Alexander Gilkes then took the stage, revving up the crowd with the battle cry, “You’ve got big hair and big food. Let’s be BIG!”
No worries there; bidding got big right away. Works by Nate Lowman, Damien Hirst and Mario Testino all went for well over $100,000, helping the main auction garner more than $1.5 million. As partygoers drifted off into the night, serious collectors lingered in the gallery, making final bids until the very last moment and driving the evening’s total to a very impressive $2.2 million.
Joining sister co-chairs Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Krystal Schlegel and Kari Schlegel Kloewer in the revelry were Brian Bolke, Faisal Halum, Peter Doroshenko, Joyce Goss, Kenny Goss, Tammy Cotton Harnett, Muffin and John Lemak, Niven Morgan, Shelby Wagner, Richard Phillips, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Capera Ryan, Arden Wohl, Deedie Rose, Barbara Daseke, Christen Wilson, Sheryl and Eric Maas, Nancy Rogers, and Kimberly Chandler.