Last Friday, at the fifth annual MTV RE:DEFINE charity art auction in Dallas, an air of good-natured competition reigned, from the stylish frocks and parade of stellar heels, to the giddy discussions about the highest bids on the auction floor. With donations from over 200 artists, initial bids of almost $1 million from the online Paddle8 auction quickly ticked upward as guests took their seats for dinner and a live auction.
Enoc Perez, who cites Andy Warhol's screen-printed multiples as a prime influence, was this year's artist honoree and his Lipstick Building, an abstract take on an iconic New York edifice, was a coveted piece in the auction. A veteran of the Dallas art scene, Perez mentioned that he sees the Texan city as his second home. Tim Headington was also honored for his contributions to both the auction and the liveliness of Dallas' art scene, which is arguably catching up to those in New York and L.A.
On-stage and within the crowd, seasoned auctioneer Simon de Pury was at his performative best. He energetically jump-started the evening, directly engaging with bidders in a way that captured the energy of a concert. High sales of the night included Trough by Sterling Ruby, Orgasm Addict by Dan Colen and Marc Quinn‘s We Share Our Chemistry With the Stars (XX200).
As a whole the auction, curated by Neville Wakefield, raised $2.5 million for the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, an entirely donor-funded charity that aims to help stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in populations of great risk, through continued support, prevention, and awareness programs.
"MTV RE:DEFINE is one of our major fundraisers, but it's also an opportunity to talk to the audience about HIV and AIDS," Executive Director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation Georgia Arnold said. "Unfortunately, too many people think that AIDS has been cured," she continues, "so speaking to the MTV RE:DEFINE audience allows me not only to talk about the latest statistics, but I can also tell them how we're spending the money raised." In the last five years, the MTV RE:DEFINE auction has funded 120 projects around the world, and this year's results will allow for even more. —Monica Salazar
With a special thanks to The Impossible Project, Anna Russ documented attendees, honorees, and artworks being auctioned through Polaroid photos.