George Michael's art collection raises £11 million for charity

  • George Michael's art collection raises £11 million for charity

George Michael's art collection raises £11 million for charity

"The Incomplete Truth", a 2006 Damien Hirst work depicting a dove hovering in formaldehyde, fetched the highest price of the evening, raising £911,250 ($1,210,000).

The money raised will go to causes that the philanthropic star supported.

Hirst alone raised £2.3 million while Emin's works raised over a million pounds.

Another of Hirst's works - Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain, a representation of the death of the Christian martyr using a bull encased in formaldehyde - sold for £875,250 at the London auction. Untitled (SEX), Untitled (GOD) and Handcuffs sold for £125,000, £40,000 and £112,500 respectively.

One item that drummed up considerable energy in the kind-spirited auction room was George Loves Kenny by Tracey Emin. Emin created the piece in 2007 for Michael and his then-partner Kenny Goss.

According to Cristian Albu from Christie's, Michael's "most intense" period of art-buying took place between 2004 and 2009.

Emin first met the singer when she spoke to him through the letterbox having refused to open the front door whilst undertaking a commission at a patron's house in west London.

Jussi Pylkkänen, Global President of Christie's, added: "To realize such a significant sum, with proceeds from the sale being used to continue George Michael's philanthropic work, is what we've all been working towards".

"So the relationship had a tricky start but eventually they were close and it was Tracey who introduced George to the work of the YBAs".

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

Every single artwork was sold at last night's competitive auction, which Christie's said was "a tribute to both George Michael's eye for contemporary art and the depth of feeling for an artist whose songbook of classic tracks defined an era".

The singer came out as gay after a undercover police sting in Beverly Hills in 1998.