Auction of George Michael's art collection raises £11m

Lawrence Kim
March 16, 2019

George Michael also collected art by contemporary conceptual artist Michael Craig-Martin.

In his lifetime the London-born performer was known for his philanthropy and that will continue after his death with the funds raised tonight. The highest price was for The Incomplete Truth, a 2006 Hirst work consisting of a dove preserved in formaldehyde, which sold for £911,250.

A second Hirst piece - a bull encased in formaldehyde titled "Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain" - sold for £875,250 ($1,162,000).

The artist's works Untitled (SEX) and Handcuffs fetched £125,000 and £112,500 respectively.

One item that drummed up considerable energy in the kind-spirited auction room was George Loves Kenny by Tracey Emin.

The Unmade Bed artist made the piece for the singer and his former boyfriend Kenny Goss in 2007.

A Couple of Differences Between Thinking and Feeling II
A Couple of Differences Between Thinking and Feeling II CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2019

"I'm sure he had advisors but I think he pleased himself and made up his own mind what he liked", Cristian Albu from Christie's told the BBC about Michael's art buying, adding that it was "most intense" between 2004 and 2009.

Emin first met the singer when she spoke to him through the letterbox having refused to open the front door whilst undertaking a commission at a patron's house in west London.

Proceeds of the auction will go towards George Michael's various philanthropic ventures, the auctioneers said.

"So the relationship had a tricky start but eventually they were close and it was Tracey who introduced George to the work of the YBAs". George Michael died aged 53, according to his publicist on 25 December 2016.

After a world tour that saw highlights exhibited in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and a special multi-media exhibition in London that celebrated George Michael's life, his music and the art he lived with, standout pieces from the singer's collection sold for £9,264,000 in a dedicated evening sale at Christie's King Street headquarters.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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