George Michael’s art collection goes for $15 million at auction
Over the past two days, auction house Christie’s sold the entirety of the late George Michael’s art collection. The auction took place both online and at the physical auction house in London.
The whole collection amassed over $15 million (over €13,200,000). All of these proceeds will go towards continuing the singer’s philanthropic efforts.
There were bidders from 52 countries and five continents. Around 15,000 people visited the pre-auction exhibit of Michael’s collection.
Some of the artists featured in Michael’s expansive collection are Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Michael Craig-Martin, Marc Quinn, and more.
One piece auctione was Craig-Martin’s Commissioned Self Portrait (George). It sold online for $231,700 (€204,384), which is a world record for the artist.
There were 30 other world online auction records, as well as four world auction records broken at the evening auction in London.
Two works by Damien Hirst – The Incomplete Truth and Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain – sold for a combined $2.3 million.
The auction house raised a further $331,169 (€292,127) through the sales of catalogues and limited edition tote bags.
As Christie’s described, Michael’s collection ‘represented a dialogue with his own British contemporaries […] who rose to prominence by challenging the status quo of the time, together creating the Young British Art movement.
They added Michael developed a friendship with many of these artists.
Lifelong dedication to charity
‘Philanthropic work was hugely important for George during his lifetime and it was his wish that this work would continue after his passing,’ Michael’s trustees said.
A 2018 report revealed Michael’s estate was continuing to donate to charities, years after his death in 2016.
Both a UK childrens’ helpline, Childline, and a Los Angeles AIDS charity received donations last year. Another LA charity, Project Angel Food, reported the same.
An NSPCC source said Michael’s ‘considerable’ donation was ‘out of the blue’ but ‘hugely appreciated,’ British newspaper, The Mirror, reported.
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Author: Anya Crittenton