Bloomberg News

George Michael’s Gallery, Auctions Help AIDS Charity

September 20, 2012

Georgia Arnold

Georgia Arnold, executive director of the Staying Alive Foundation, a London-based charity that supports HIV/AIDS-related causes. Source: The Staying Alive Foundation via Bloomberg

If you’re in Dallas Saturday night, you have a chance to look over the shoulder of British artist Dave White while he paints an American eagle, and then bid on the work.

The occasion is a fundraiser for the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, a London-based charity that supports HIV/AIDS- related causes. It features live and silent auctions of works created by about 30 artists just for the night. White, who designed a swooshless sneaker for Nike, will be the only artist actually working on his piece during the event.

“Hopefully people will be interested in seeing how the work comes together,” said White, a Liverpool native. “Anything I can do for charity and make a difference in people’s lives is something I like to do often.”

The gala and an accompanying exhibition called “Re:Define” will be at Dallas’s Goss Gallery, which is run by the Goss-Michael Foundation. The nonprofit was founded by pop singer and art collector George Michael and his partner, Kenny Goss, a Texas native.

The success of last year’s exhibition at Goss, which raised about $700,000 with works by artists including Damien Hirst, Harland Miller and Shepard Fairey, persuaded Staying Alive to make it an annual occasion, Executive Director Georgia Arnold said by phone.

“Dallas is a hub for real art lovers, and a lot of the social life in Dallas revolves around art,” said Arnold, who’s also senior vice president for social responsibility at Viacom (VIA:US) International Media Networks in London.

Bloody Portrait

Among Saturday night’s works is an oil painting by Marc Quinn valued at $250,000; he’s known for a self-portrait made with his own blood. Other artists include German photographer Juergen Teller, street artist Swoon and Ireland’s Michael Craig- Martin.

Phillips de Pury & Co. Chairman Simon De Pury will preside over the live auction. The public can bid for auction items online or by telephone.

Arnold said she hopes the event will remind the art world that the fight against AIDS isn’t over.

“We’re nearly there, and we can see the finish line,” Arnold said. “My concern is that because of the drop in funding for AIDS in recent years, we’re running backwards.”

(The gala is Saturday at the Goss-Michael Foundation, 1405 Turtle Creek Blvd. in Dallas from 7 p.m. to midnight. Information: http://mtvredefine.com/show_event_info.php.)

Muse highlights include Lance Esplund and Katya Kazakina on art.

To contact the writer on this story: Patrick Cole in New York at pcole3@Bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff in New York at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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