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George Michael’s art collection sold for more than £10 million

Josh Jackman March 15, 2019
Atmosphere as Christie's presents an exhibition of works from it's upcoming George Michael Collection Highlights at Christie's on March 08, 2019 in London, England.

Proceeds from the George Michael collection are going to charity. (Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty)

An art collection owned by the late gay icon George Michael has been sold for more than £10 million.

A total of 61 pieces by artists like Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst were auctioned off on Thursday (March 14) for £9,264,000 at Christie’s in London, according to the auction house.

Around 100 more works were sold online from March 8-15, raising an additional amount which totalled more than £1 million.

Staff members poses with work by Michael Craig-Martin as Christie's presents an exhibition of works from it's George Michael Collection Highlights at Christie's on March 08, 2019 in London, England.
Works by Michael Craig-Martin sold for a combined £277,500. (Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty)

The most expensive sale was The Incomplete Truth, a 2006 piece by Hirst which features a dove encased in formaldehyde and went for £911,250.

The proceeds will go to charitable causes which the star supported before his death in December 2016, aged 53.

Auction raises millions after thousands remember George Michael

A spokesman for Michael’s trustees said they were “delighted” that the millions raised in the auctions would go towards causes he championed, according to the Evening Standard.

“Philanthropic work was hugely important for George and it was his wish that this work would continue,” he added.

Christie’s global president Jussi Pylkkänen acted as the evening’s auctioneer. He said: “To realise such a significant sum is what we’ve all been working towards.

“We hope the charities who will ultimately benefit will be pleased with the outcome.”

— Christie’s global president Jussi Pylkkänen about the George Michael collection auction

“We hope the charities who will ultimately benefit will be pleased with the outcome.”

Thousands of fans have reportedly visited the exhibition displaying George Michael’s collection since it was unveiled on March 9.

This display included pieces by other Young British Art movement artists like Sarah Lucas, Michael Craig-Martin and Marc Quinn.

In a statement by Christie’s, the auction house paid tribute to the star and his art.

“The collection spoke volumes about George Michael, a man who touched millions with his music, his honesty, his bravery and his kindness,” the release read.

“This was partly due to the autobiographical nature of so many of the works within it, but also because it revealed the extent to which he had supported his fellow British artists.”

George Michael stayed true to himself with varied art collection

The star collected pieces of art which reflected his larger-than-life personality.

One of Hirst’s works, Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain, was sold for £875,250. It features a bull preserved in formaldehyde and surrounded with arrows.

Staff member poses with work titled ‘Drunk to the Bottom of my Soul’ by Tracey Emin as Christie's presents an exhibition of works from it's George Michael Collection Highlights at Christie's on March 08, 2019 in London, England.
Drunk to the Bottom of my Soul by Tracey Emin was sold for £275,000. (Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty)

The first major piece Michael bought, Bridget Riley’s 1982 painting Songbird, is composed of a series of bright vertical lines. It was auctioned off for £791,250.

Emin’s 2007 work Hurricane went for £431,250.

Three pieces of art created by Michael Craig-Martin in reference to Michael’s 1998 arrest for engaging in a sexual act in a public toilet, titled Untitled (SEX), Untitled (GOD) and Handcuffs, were sold for a combined £277,500.

And Angus Fairhurst’s life-size bronze gorilla, which used to sit in the star’s garden, fetched £118,750.

More: art, auction, Christie's, damien hirst, entertainment, George Michael, Music, tracy emin, UK

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