Over 92 compelling artworks are to be offered in support of on-the-ground HIV & AIDS initiatives on behalf of the MTV RE:DEFINE Staying Alive Foundation. The internet auction site Paddle 8 is hosting the auction with the proceeds shared. On April 8th there will be an art tornado whooshing through the city where the live auction will take place and Simon De Pury will grab the gavel to auction off these significant artworks at Dallas Contemporary.
Though the Staying Alive auction is set against the back drop of the Dallas Art fair, it has even more to offer than aesthetic investment and intellectual concepts. MTV RE:DEFINE, and its efforts on behalf of the Staying Alive Foundation, is one of the most present and important organisations working to fight an epidemic which continues growing, despite popular belief that it has been stemmed. Most people don’t realise that 1 in 4 Latin American gay men, alongside an astounding 1 in 2 African American gay men (according to the CDC), will contract the disease in their lifetime. This scourge is hard to turn away from. The specter of HIV & AIDS still haunts us like the character of death in Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal. We are still at the chessboard seeking ways to eradicate the disease and educate people.
One step back, two steps forward…This is what the very passionate Georgia Arnold, Founder/ Executive Director for the Staying Alive Foundation and Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility for MTV Networks International does. Developing and implementing social initiatives across MTV’s broad range of channels. Beside her is an impressive board of trustees, including Henry Luyombya, one of the original young people travailing with HIV, featured in the Staying Alive documentary series, during the late 1990s. Back then Luyombya visited the 85 year old South African hero and President Nelson Mandela, along with several other young adults to talk about rising above and going beyond adversity. Mr. Luyombya who once read by candlelight in a shack made of tin, is now leading a good life with his beautiful girlfriend and working for an NGO. Recently he was invited to sit on the board of the Staying Alive Foundation, the very organization which he helped to inspire building. Their work educating young people and bringing awareness to an otherwise dim world in half light, is essential to the survival of this generation.
Because of one night of art auctions 4,300 young educators in countries including the U.S., Moldova, Rwanda, Ghana, (Can you believe Nebraska?) and many others will continue to engage over 700,000 of their peers with life-saving HIV knowledge and the distribution of 1.9 million condoms and over 46,000 HIV tests.
MTV:REDEFINE is bringing an outstanding cache of artwork to this auction/benefit including: Sterling Ruby, Betty Tomkins, Marc Quinn, Michelle Grabner, Mark Flood, and many others, which will take place at Dallas Contemporary and has been curated by Neville Wakefield.
It is going to be an exciting weekend of art, performance and music. Dallas is beyond burgeoning as it has become a major hub for all things art and a mecca for philanthropy, purchasing, appreciation and innovation. In its 5th year, the MTV:REDEFINE benefit will also honour artist Enoc Perez for his seminal paintings of modernist metropolitan architecture, highlighting Phillip Johnson’s iconic 1986 lipstick building.
Don’t miss this opportunity to see something beautiful and do something profound. Participate to eradicate HIV & AIDS.
Words: Isa Freeling Photos courtesy Paddle 8