George Michael’s philanthropic legacy continues with a new auction of his private art collection to raise money for charity.
The British singer-songwriter – who died aged 53 on Christmas Day in 2016 – amassed an impressive collection of artists, which particularly focussed on the Young British Art movement in the 1990s and 2000s.
George developed friendships with many of the artists whose work he collected, which includes pieces by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Michael Craig-Martin, and Marc Quin.
The collection will now go on auction at Christie’s in London on 14 March, while online bidding will be open from 8-15 March.
Key works up for auction will include Tracey Emin, Drunk to the Bottom of my Soul, 2002; Damien Hirst, The Incomplete Truth, 2006, Bridget Riley, Songbird (1982); and Michael Craig-Martin, Commissioned Portrait Untitled (George), 2007.
Estimates for the pieces range from £400 to £1.5 million.
Lot 105 Craig-Martin ‘Commissioned Portrait Untitled (George)’
“We are delighted to be organising this major auction of The Collection of George Michael to allow his philanthropic work to continue,” said Jussi Pylkkänen, Global President of Christie’s.
“George Michael was a much-admired creative genius of the music industry and the viewing of over 200 works of art from the private collection will provide a fascinating insight into the broader tastes of a man who was deeply admired all over the world.”
Cristian Albu, Co-Head Post-War & Contemporary of Christie’s, added: “We are honoured to have been entrusted with The George Michael Collection, which represents a unique opportunity for collectors, art lovers and experts, as well as for the legions of George Michael fans across the world.
“The collection is a celebration of the YBA movement’s spirit of creativity and adventure in the late 1990s, with works ranging from the poetry of Tracey Emin to the transcendence of death manifested by Damien Hirst, and reflects every aspect of this dynamic moment in British cultural history.”
George Michael’s Trustees remarked: “The Art Collection of George Michael reflects the friendships built between one of the UK’s most acclaimed musical artists and the visual artists who were creating artworks at a seminal moment in British cultural history. Philanthropic work was hugely important for George during his lifetime and it was his wish that this work would continue after his passing.”
A public exhibition of George Michael’s art collection will be open in London from 9 March to 14 March.