Late English singer-songwriter George Michael's private art collection featuring some 200 artworks fetched over 10 million euros ($11,335,200) during a Christie's charitable sale in London, the auction house said Friday.
The singer's art collection, which prominently featured works by 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 — went on sale on Mar. 8 and was set to close Friday although most of the key artworks were sold the previous evening.
"The energy was palpable in a packed saleroom at King Street, and among the many bidding online, on the phones and via a live link from Christie’s New York saleroom," Christie's said in a statement.
"The competitive bidding and the fact that every single lot sold were 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 prestigious auction house added.
Highlights from the collection were toured and exhibited in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York and Shanghai, including a more in-depth multimedia show in London about the singer, his music and life and the artwork he was so passionate about and became an important supporter of.
Buyers from 27 countries across all five continents fought to secure a slice of the "George Michael Collection."
Michael, as well as being an eager collector of contemporary art, established intimate relationships with many visual artists.
Several pieces in the collection referenced his friendships with the authors and these were the star pieces throughout the sale.
Amongst the 60-lot sale was a neon piece by Tracey Emin, with whom he shared Cypriot heritage, titled "George Loves Kenny," a piece she created in 2007 after she joined the singer on tour and which fetched 347,250 pounds ($461,115) four times its estimate of 60,000 pounds.
Emin's "Drunk to the Bottom of My Soul," (2002) an appliqué blanket sold for 275,000 pounds.
Several works from Damien Hirst's formaldehyde series of animals and objects suspended in mid-air went on sale, including "The Incomplete Truth" featuring a white dove which secured 911,250 pounds and "The Immaculate Heart? Sacred" vitrine of a bull's heart with dove wings and dagger piercing the organ which sold for 323,250 pounds.
Michael Craig-Martin, widely thought of as the godfather of the YBA's, had two works for sale.
True to his tongue-in-cheek style, a pair of fluorescent acrylic canvasses of a set of handcuffs and a urinal, a nod to George Michael's arrest in 1998 for engaging in a sexual act in Beverly Hills public toilet, fetched 112,500 and 40,000 pounds respectively.
The artwork that surpassed all expectations reaching 10 times its price estimate was a Jim Lambie collage, "Careless Whisper" (2009) consisting of a poster of the singer with oil painted flowers, originally estimated to fetch between 12,000 and 18,000 pounds but hammered 175,000.
The proceeds of the sale will go towards the philanthropic work the singer-songwriter, who died on Dec. 25, 2016, aged 53, engaged in, the institution said.
Throughout his career, Michael sold 1 billion albums worldwide and was a member of 1980s pop group Wham! before later embarking on a lucrative solo career.