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This is an image of a watercolor and ink work on paper by February James made in 2022 titled: Seeing Not Watching.

February James, Seeing Not Watching, 2022, watercolor and ink on paper, 16 x 12 inches

TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art
October 21st, 2023
Dallas, TX

February James has donated Seeing Not Watching to the TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art auction taking place on Saturday, October 21st. 

Click here to bid

February James
Seeing Not Watching, 2022
watercolor and ink on paper
16 x 12 inches

As a makeup artist, I was always fascinated with these actors and musicians and how as I’m stripping away all their insecurities, they begin to reveal private things about themselves. There’s always something about the duality of self and what’s hidden. – February James

By channeling the emotional weight of black subjects embedded in her subconscious, February James captures the essence, rather than the likeness, of family members, friends, and acquaintances, as if erased by time. In this dream-like portrait Seeing Not Watching, James depicts a subject with an egg-shaped face and watery eyes. The circular shapes around the eyes suggest the viewer sees only a pale gray mask, unable to see what is hidden beneath. Born in Washington, DC, James relocated to Los Angeles in 2007 and received a BFA from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. James’ work is in the collections of The Studio Museum in Harlem and the Rubell Museum.


TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art is an annual contemporary art auction held at The Rachofsky House in Dallas, benefiting two organizations—the Dallas Museum of Art and amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research. TWO x TWO 2022 raised $9.5 Million, bringing the total raised to $113 Million. 

Thanks to the phenomenal support of the dealer and artist community, corporate sponsors, and Dallas patrons, TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art’s annual benefit gala dinner and art auction has raised over $113 million in its 23-year history in support of amfAR’s AIDS research initiatives and the DMA’s contemporary art acquisition program.

TWO x TWO is such a successful event because it provides an opportunity to support two very worthy organizations. amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, has made great strides in essential AIDS research initiatives over the last 25 years, and TWO x TWO has become amfAR’s largest fundraiser in the United States. The Dallas Museum of Art has added over 325 major works of contemporary art to their permanent collection with TWO x TWO proceeds donated to their Contemporary Art Acquisition fund and exhibitions. TWO x TWO is also the DMA’s largest annual fundraiser.

Drawing prominent artists, art collectors and philanthropists from around the world, TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art has evolved into a week full of social events aimed at recognizing the progress of amfAR and engaging the arts community in Dallas. An eagerly anticipated event that quickly sells out, the benefit features a seated dinner for 450 guests with both a live and silent auction of major works of contemporary art and unique luxury items. During the weekend, amfAR presents its Award of Excellence for Artistic Contributions to the Fight Against AIDS to the honoree artist at an intimate luncheon at The Warehouse.

The Saturday night gala and auction, conducted by Sotheby’s, has included VIP celebrity guests such as Harry Belafonte, Aloe Blacc, Alan Cumming, John Benjamin Hickey, Cheyenne Jackson, Taylor Dayne, CeeLo Green, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Shirley MacLaine, Barry Manilow, Liza Minnelli, Rita Ora, Natasha Richardson, Nile Rodgers and CHIC, Diana Ross, Gavin Rossdale, Sharon Stone, Ryan Tedder, Dita Von Teese, Robin Thicke, Stanley Tucci and Sigourney Weaver. Renowned artists Cecily Brown, Peter Doig, Tom Friedman, April Gornik, Mark Grotjahn, Wade Guyton, Jim Hodges, Rashid Johnson, Alex Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, Yoshitomo Nara, Laura Owens, Elizabeth Peyton, Richard Phillips, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, Dana Schutz, Joel Shapiro, Luc Tuymans, Jonas Wood and Christopher Wool have been honored. Artist María Berrío will be honored at the 2023 gala.

In combining the art, entertainment and philanthropy worlds, TWO x TWO for AIDS and Art is a unique event.