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Kenny Goss Talks MTV RE:DEFINE & Paula Crown

The solo exhibition of Chicago-based artist Paula Crown “Bearings Down” opens this week at the Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas,TX. And this Friday, April 8, the contemporary British art collection lead by co-founder Kenny Goss, participates in the city’s annual MTV RE:DEFINE charity event benefiting the MTV Staying Alive Foundation.

Whitewall caught up with Goss to find out more about the event that brings together the very best in art, music, and charity, as well as Crown’s exhibition, and the foundation’s move to 1305 Wycliff Avenue in Dallas’ Design District this May.

Night Sky

WHITEWALL: It looks like you have some really fantastic artists contributing to the MTV:REDEFINE auction. Have you noticed any particularly interesting works this year? 

KENNY GOSS: Artists are being extremely generous this year. We have fabulous works by Enoc Perez, Marc Quinn, Paula Crown, Damien Hirst, Dan Colen, Bruce Weber, and Sterling Ruby, to name a few. With this great lineup, we anticipate we will exceed the $2.2 million we raised last year.


WW: Do any of artists participating in MTV RE:DEFINE create work that’s thematically related to the Staying Alive Foundation?

KG: Typically, we do have work donated that relates to our cause. For example, last year, the artists Elmgreen & Dragset produced a powerful work made from the pigment of HIV medication.

WW: We’ve heard that Marc Quinn will be painting an eye for the highest bidder. Quinn’s done a lot of work with manipulating irises into sort of global or celestial landscapes. Have you heard anything about what the conceptual framework around this commission might be? 

KG: Quinn’s iris works are basically portraits. He refers to them as “stealth portraits,” tapping into his interest in the universal and unique. They’re very personal, and yet talk about global ideas such as beauty, identity, and paranoia.

WW: Your gallery has a heavy focus on exposing young artists to the social side of art. Has MTV RE:DEFINE helped to make any interesting connections between your artists and key players in the art world? 

KG: I believe RE:DEFINE plays a key role in connecting young artists to collectors. Our art committee brings together a diverse group of work that exposes the collector base to artists that they may not come across otherwise.

WW: A couple of years ago, you talked about how MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation is so important for empowering communities to fight HIV on their own, as opposed to having some outside force come in and try to police people’s behavior. Now that you’ve had the chance to observe the foundation’s impact, are there any examples you’ve noted of this effect? 

KG: A great example of the impact we’re making can be found in Kenya, where the soap opera Shuga, produced by MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation, has proven to be a remarkable success on changing the behavior of young adults. A research company found that many of its younger viewers had discussed issues around safe sex and HIV and have shown a willingness and enthusiasm to get tested.

WW: The Goss-Michael Foundation will be hosting an exhibition by Paula Crown this spring. Crown’s done a lot of conceptual, site-specific installations—almost like pocket landscapes. Can you talk a little bit about the direction she’s taking with this exhibition? 

KG: We know the piece will be specific to our space, but deals with issues that are important to Paula. She’s been working with floor plans of the gallery to design the immersive audio/ video installation. We’ve also been told there will be an “action” taking place at some point during the exhibition. Of course, I’m very excited to see how the piece evolves.


A version of this article will appear in Whitewaller Dallas, out next week.





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