Auction of George Michael's Art Collection Raises $12.3 Million for Charity

15 March, 2019, 23:35 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • George Michael

The Praying For Time singer was well-known for his philanthropy and funds raised from last night are reported to be going to charity.

Works from George Michael's private art collection raised 9,264,000 in a flagship live auction at Christie's tonight.

Michael, who died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53, built his collection through visits to galleries and artists' studios.

The energy was palpable in a packed saleroom at King Street, and among the many bidding online, on the phones and via a live link from Christie's NY saleroom.

Michael had amassed a collection of more than 200 works of art before his death in 2016, the Press Association reports.

The highest selling item was Damien Hirst's The Incomplete Truth, part of his 2006 "Natural History" series, in which formaldehyde-suspended animals and organs take centre stage.

"Philanthropic work was hugely important for George during his lifetime and it was his wish that this work would continue after his passing", a spokesperson for George Michael's Trustees said in a statement released by Christie's.

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"But Tracey said she was far too busy and George said, "well fine but I'm George Michael" - and Tracey said 'I don't care who you are, just go away'".

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

The action was held at Christie's in London and included works by Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst.

A life-size bronze gorilla by Angus Fairhurst that used to sit in Michael's garden also went under the hammer, fetching £118,750.

"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.

The collection toured New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Shanghai before landing in London.

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