February 18, 2019
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George Michael's art collection to go under the hammer at Christie's

 George Michael performing songs from his Symphonica Tour at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, south Wales, United Kingdom, Oct. 5, 2012. EPA-EFE FILE/GEOFF CADDICK

George Michael performing songs from his Symphonica Tour at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, south Wales, United Kingdom, Oct. 5, 2012. EPA-EFE FILE/GEOFF CADDICK

London, Feb 8 (EFE).- Late English singer-songwriter George Michael's private art collection featuring some 200 artworks with pieces valued at anywhere between 400 pounds to 1.5 million pounds ($518- $1.9 million) is set to go under the hammer at Christie's London branch next month, the auction house said in a statement Friday.

The "George Michael Collection" featuring 75 artworks by artists from the renowned Young British Art (YBA) movement — a group of artists from the late 1980s and 1990s known for their often shocking content characterized by pushing the limits of decency and, as such, garnering much media attention — will go on auction on Mar. 14 with the remaining 130 YBA works to be sold in a second lot online between Mar. 8-15, the auction house announced.

"The George Michael Collection represents a unique dialogue between a great British music artist and his contemporaries in the visual arts, such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Michael Craig-Martin, and Marc Quinn, who rose to prominence by challenging the status quo, and together created the YBA movement," Christie's said in a statement.

The proceeds of the sale will go towards the philanthropic work the singer-songwriter, who died in December 2016, engaged in, the institution added.

Michael had a personal relationship with many of the featured artists and as such the collection is a reflection of his passion for contemporary art and his drive to support emerging artists of his time.

Due to the high-profile nature of many of the artists, Christie's will be touring the collection prior to the sale with shows in New York (Feb. 8-11), Los Angeles (Feb. 11-16) and Hong Kong (Feb. 19-22) and a final viewing in London (March 9-14 ) at the auction house's headquarters.

‘The viewing of works from George Michael’s private collection will provide a fascinating insight into the broader tastes of a man who was a creative genius of the music industry, and admired all over the world,’ Jussi Pylkkänen, global president of Christie’s, said.

Among the highlights are Hirst's "The Incomplete Truth" (2006), the now emblematic series of pieces the artist made placing animals and organs suspended in mid-air by formaldehyde and, Michael's personal favorite artwork, which took pride of place over his chimney: Bridget Riely's "Songbird" (1982) canvass featuring bold stripes in cyan, salmon, yellow, black and blue hues.

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