11/03/19

George Michael’s Extensive Art Collection goes on Sale at Christie’s

A chance to see the dialogue between George Michael and his British contemporaries in art. From 2004, the famous recording artist began to extensively collect works of art, particularly that of the YBAs, who began challenging the status quo in the 1980s at the same time that Michael was starting his music career with Wham! He had a particularly close friendship with Tracey Emin, who proceeded to open his eyes to other leading artists of the movement, including Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas and Angus Fairhurst.

Harland Miller,  Incurable Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore,  2007

Harland Miller, Incurable Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore, 2007

The 60 works considered to be the most prominent in Michael’s collection will be sold at a live auction on Thursday 14th March, whilst the other 100 lots are available to bid for online. The piece with the biggest advance estimate is The Incomplete Truth (2006), a dove preserved in formaldehyd by Damien Hirst .

Gary Hume,  American Tan XIIV,  2006-7

Gary Hume, American Tan XIIV, 2006-7

Among the works included in the sale are several pieces that the singer commissioned. One such example is a computerised portrait of Michael by Michael Craig-Martin, a leading proponent of the YBA movement who taught at Goldsmith College of Art where many YBA artists studied in the 80s. The portrait is set up on the screen so that the colours are constantly changing.

Before arriving at Christie’s, the collection toured several cities including Shanghai, New York and Los Angeles so that the impressive collection could be admired to the widest possible audience. In London, the exhibition of the collection has been seen by thousands of art collectors and George Michael fans across the world who have made the trip to King Street. Actors David Williams and Martin Kemp, as well as George’s fellow Wham! member Andrew Widgeley, attended the opening view at the auction house.

In addition to being able to gawk at Michael’s collection of 20th and 21st-century British art, visitors can hear Michael’s music throughout the building and see visual reminders of his lyrics and insightful quotes on the gallery walls. Artefacts from his career are also on show, including the speaker chair from the memorable Fastlove video and eccentric costume from his Freeek! video .

The auction will take place on Thursday 14th March at 7pm. All proceeds will go to charity.

Installation shot: Michael Craig-Martin  Untitled (God) , 2002 and  Untitled (Sex),  2007.

Installation shot: Michael Craig-Martin Untitled (God), 2002 and Untitled (Sex), 2007.