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MTV: RE:DEFINE Benefit Art Event Raises Over $750,000

Jessica Olsson, Dirk Nowitzki and Georgia Arnold at MTV RE:DEFINE

Jessica Olsson, Dirk Nowitzki and Georgia Arnold at MTV RE:DEFINE

The MTV Staying Alive Foundation today announced that the inaugural MTV RE:DEFINE art exhibition and auction, held in front of a sold-out VIP audience on Saturday, September 24 at the Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas, has raised more than $770,000 for the charity. All money raised on the night will go towards the Foundation’s work in empowering young people engaged in fighting the stigma, spread and threat of the HIV and AIDS epidemic through inspiring grantee projects around the world.

Simon de Pury, Chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company, flew in especially to host the auction, encouraging the audience of 300 key collectors to dig deep into their pockets to bid for the 30 original works on display. With many of the pieces commissioned especially for the project by British curators, The Future Tense, the bold roster included works from artists including Shepard Fairey, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk, Harland Miller, Gérard Rancinan, Adam Ball and Ben Eine.

Testament to the quality of the works on show, almost half of the art lots sold above their high estimate, with the in-room action complemented by almost 70 absentee bidders via online and phone. The star lot on the night, a rare combined spin/butterfly painting by Damien Hirst featuring cubic zirconia, sold for $240,000 to an unnamed phone bidder from Los Angeles.

The reception culminated in an explosive 45-minute live performance by The Boxer Rebellion in advance of their major 22-date Northern American tour starting October 13 to promote their latest album, The Cold Still.

“We are absolutely thrilled with Saturday’s auction results and delighted that we have been able to raise such a significant amount for the Staying Alive Foundation,” said Georgia Arnold, Executive Director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation. “Thanks to the enormous generosity of each and every artist and gallery, and of course the bidders, sponsors and silent auction donors, the money raised will enable young people to continue their amazing work in raising awareness of HIV/AIDS in local communities around the world.”

Simon de Pury, Chairman of Phillips de Pury & Company, said, “On entering the Goss-Michael Foundation’s magnificent building I instantly felt a great vibe. The crowd was very handsome, the music pounding and the handpicked art looked fabulous on the walls. From the start of the auction to the final lot the bidding was energetic and relentless. For an inaugural event, it was an outstanding result. I can only congratulate everyone involved in this project at the Staying Alive Foundation, the Goss-Michael Foundation, The Future Tense and most importantly, the very generous artists who each donated strong works. It is my hope that this could become an annual event.”

Special recognition goes to Belvedere Vodka, Moët & Chandon, The Dallas Morning News, Neiman Marcus, Hotel Zaza, Ben E. Keith Beverage Company, Land Rover/Range Rover of Dallas, RP Valet and Crazy Water.

About MTV International’s Staying Alive Foundation

The MTV Staying Alive Foundation is a global grant-giving and content-producing public charity operating in affiliation with MTV Networks International.

In 1998, MTV launched the Staying Alive TV series, which grew to be the world’s largest multimedia HIV prevention and awareness campaign for young people, including documentaries, dramas, public service announcements, websites, events and forums.

In 2004, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation was created, expanding the initiative in to a charitable, grant-giving organization to support youth-led initiatives committed to stopping the spread of HIV in local communities.

To date, the Foundation has awarded 304 grants in 61 countries across the world, distributing over $3 million. The MTV Staying Alive Foundation is dedicated to fighting stigma and discrimination and empowering young people to protect themselves against the disease. The MTV Staying Alive Foundation is registered as a UK charity and as a 501c3 charitable organization in the US.

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About The Future Tense

The Future Tense acts as a springboard for a dynamic roster of emerging contemporary artists, working closely with them to support all aspects of their career progression.

Free from the constraints of a fixed gallery space, The Future Tense creates unique event concepts and genre-defining projects, curating bespoke spaces and working with affiliate galleries to service a broad spectrum of private and institutional collectors.

The Future Tense also applies award-winning vision and creative thinking on behalf of brands seeking cultural innovation, delivering uniquely engaging results through a diverse network of collaborators.

Highly socially aware and with strong philanthropic sensibilities, The Future Tense works closely with a number of charitable causes including the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and children’s charity, War Child.

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About The Goss-Michael Foundation

The Goss-Michael Foundation was founded by George Michael and Kenny Goss in June 2007.

The Foundation offers the public a rotating schedule of exhibitions derived from Goss and Michael’s private collection of British contemporary art as well as other institutions.

The Goss-Michael Foundation exists to educate, engage and inspire audiences by presenting exhibitions of British Contemporary art, provide vast resources, educational programs and scholarships to aspiring artists.

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About Phillips de Pury & Company

As the only international auction house to concentrate exclusively on contemporary culture, Phillips de Pury & Company has established a commanding position in the sale of Contemporary Art, Design, Photographs, Editions and Jewelry.

Through the passionate dedication of its team of specialists, Phillips de Pury & Company has garnered an unparalleled wealth of knowledge of emerging market trends.

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About The Boxer Rebellion

London based alt-rockers The Boxer Rebellion have forged a career that has literally set industry landmarks and defied the odds from day one. The 2009 self-released Union LP saw them become the first wholly independent band in history to enter the Billboard Albums Chart on digital sales alone. iTunes US ultimately declared Union their 2009 Alternative Album of the Year and in 2010 the band performed as themselves in Drew Barrymore’s Going the Distance, also starring Justin Long, Charlie Day, Christina Applegate and Jason Sudeikis.

The Boxer Rebellion’s third studio album The Cold Still – produced by the legendary Ethan Johns – is an exercise in master class performances and sophisticated song writing. Regarded by Billboard Magazine as an “epic, effortless offering from a quartet dead set on perfecting their craft,” it is monumental and intimate in equal measure, and secured the band their network TV debut courtesy of David Letterman.

Known not only for their critically acclaimed albums and music videos, but also for their fearsome live reputation, The Boxer Rebellion have already enjoyed two sold out North American tours to date and will return in October 2011 for an extended set of shows across Mexico, the US, and Canada.

The Boxer Rebellion is Tennessee-native Nathan Nicholson, Australian guitarist Todd Howe, and Englishmen Adam Harrison and Piers Hewitt on bass and drums.

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