The late George Michael with Kenny Goss
Just when we thought MTV RE:DEFINE couldn’t possibly pack more star power into its sold-out event (Chaka Khan is performing; Libertine designer Johnson Hartig is being celebrated; and Eric Fischl, one of the most influential figurative painters of the late 20th and early 20th centuries, will be honored) we just received word that megawatt contemporary artist Damien Hirst has created a one-of-a-kind painting for the auction, which benefits Dallas Contemporary and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation.
The work is deeply personal for all those involved with MTV RE:DEFINE, particularly its co-host, Kenny Goss. Titled Beautiful Beautiful George Michael Love Painting, 2017, the kaleidoscopic gloss-on-canvas portrait depicts the late pop star, George Michael. Michael and Goss were longtime partners, and together they co-founded Dallas’ Goss-Michael Foundation.
The Goss-Michael Foundation’s collection houses one of the largest collections of works by Damien Hirst in the world, so the gift to this week’s event is no coincidence. In addition, Hirst has supported MTV RE:DEFINE for many years.
“This was his idea and his genius,” says Goss.
When Michael passed away in December, Goss, along with his MTV RE:DEFINE team — Max Trowbridge, event chair and PaperCity editor-at-large, and his co-host and sister-in-law, Joyce Goss — decided the benefit should pay tribute to Michael. Hirst’s addition to the auction is a perfect gesture — and will no doubt raise a significant amount for the cause.
“I was wowed and speechless,” Goss says of his first reaction upon seeing Hirst’s piece. “It is such a significant work that pays tribute to George. That Damien took the time to create something so special for MTV RE:DEFINE underlines his generosity to this event and to the Staying Alive Foundation and the Dallas Contemporary.” We could not agree more.
Featured photograph of George Michael and Kenny Goss, courtesy Kenny Goss.