George Michael auction, personal art collection — including pieces.
Musician George Michael’s personal art collection — including pieces by some of the UK’s most well-known contemporary artists — will travel around the world in a tour that kicks off Friday in the Big Apple, and eventually hit the auction block.
More than 200 pieces of artwork by Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin, Sarah Lucas and other members of the “Young British Artists” generation — who, along with the late singer, shook up the country’s creative scene in the ’80s and ’90s — will be on display in the Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza art auction spot from Friday through Monday.
Then it will move to Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Shanghai as part of a “global highlights” tour.
The collection’s ultimate destination is in London, where the artwork will be auctioned off at Christie’s London location on March 14. Some lots will also be sold in an online auction from March 8 through 15.
Among the pieces is Hirst’s “The Incomplete Truth,” a glass case enclosing a dove preserved in formaldehyde, which could be valued at nearly $2 million.
Also included is Emin’s “Drunk to the Bottom of My Soul,” an embroidered blanket valued at between $230,400 and $320,000. A pop-art style portrait of Michael, commissioned by the musician, designed by Young British Artists mentor Michael Craig-Martin and valued at between $76,800 and $102,400 will also be available.
Cristian Albu, co-head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, called the collection “a portrait of Britain in the 1990s.”
“He was introduced to Tracey Emin and from then everything is history,” Albu said of Michael. “Tracey introduced him to the whole gang. … He was going to their studios and they were coming to his concerts.”
Michael wanted “to celebrate a time in which new life was breathed into London,” and started buying works by these artists, who then became his friends, according to Albu.
Proceeds from the auction will help to continue philanthropic work in Michael’s name, his trustees said.
Michael — who is renowned for his English pop duo Wham! with Andrew Ridgeley — and went on to sell more than 100 million albums worldwide, died on Christmas of 2015 from heart disease and an accumulation of fat in his liver.