It was the perfect tease for the night ahead. As partygoers walked up the long driveway to Cindy and Howard Rachofsky’s Richard Meier-designed environs on October 23, the home's facade "danced" with projections of red lips that appeared to be singing along to feel-good tunes like "It's Raining Men."
The Rachofsky House, sealed with kisses.
Two x Two First Look 2019 promised to be a "flirty" party. And like any cute coquette, the entire night left art patrons wanting to come back for more.
First Look is the official preview of fine art being auctioned off for Two x Two for Aids and Art, the annual gala benefiting the Foundation for AIDS Research and the Dallas Museum of Art. This year's Two x Two gala took place October 26 and was chaired by the Rachofskys and Lisa and John Runyon, with Alex Katz as the featured artist.
But even for those without ambitions to buy a new piece, First Look — designed by event planner extraordinaire Todd Fiscus, together with Headington Companies and Forty Five Ten — was a fun and fashionable night full of food, cocktails, games, and music.
Throughout the house, would-be collectors eyed works such as an eye-catching painting of colorful oddball characters by André Butzer (Untitled, 2019); Insistent Red, an intricate thread painting by Emil Lukas; and an acrylic-on-canvas work with the bold phrase It's Not What Happens It's How you Handle It (2013) by John Giorno.
A few pieces were already sold at their "own it now" prices early in the evening; many were starting to get competitive.
After the art viewing, folks headed outside, where all the party action was happening. Under a tent in the backyard that glowed with light that changed from pink to blue, a DJ kept the beat while 400 or so partygoers mingled, sipped, and snacked.
Headington Companies' portfolio of bars and restaurants provided food and bevvies. Guests lined up at dining stations across a reflecting pool and refueled at a long bar just steps away.
Bites included shrimp and blue corn grits from Mirador; cheeseburger sliders from CBD Provisions; dry aged meatballs from Sassetta; salmon poke bowls from Wheelhouse; and shaved cauliflower salad from Americano. Sweet treats came courtesy of Commissary, which was serving slices of "funfetti" tres leches cake and assorted fruit paletas.
Bartenders were kept busy pouring premium cocktails, including the signature sips: a French 75 featuring Belvedere vodka — ooh la la! — and "Cindy's Margarita" made with Casa Dragones tequila.
Under the tent, guests donned red plastic lips and mugged for a photo booth. They could discover their perfect shade of lipstick at another station and write anonymous "naughty or nice" notes on lip-shaped note cards at another.
Forty Five Ten got in on the fun, providing a game in which guests unzipped squares and reached through a wall to retrieve prizes like a designer Cowboys T-shirt or a gift certificate for a pair of jeans. Everyone got a key that could open a treasure chest at Forty Five Ten in coming days (if they would "beso" lucky, the key's tag said).
The party attracted a coterie of prominent Dallas art patrons, fashion fiends, and philanthropists. They included Heidi Dillon, Max Trowbridge, Jane Humphrey, Todd Fiscus, Ceron, Dan Rodriguez, Arianna Angara, Joseph Steffen, Elizabeth Kimple, Scott Kimple, Kary Brittingham, Robyn Siegel, Kelly Gillespie, Jane Weempe, Kenny Goss, Randall Goss, Kara Goss, Alexa Parra, Robert Weatherly, Derek Wilson, Gonzalo Bueno, and many more.
In its first 20 years, Two x Two raised $84 million for amfAR and the Dallas Museum of Art. That number will go up significantly when the receipts from the 2019 event are counted soon.