In life, George Michael quietly donated millions to charity. In death, he’s helped raise millions more.
Christie’s auction house sold the late British superstar’s collection of modern art at an auction Thursday night, and the pieces brought in a whopping $14.6 million, from bidders in 27 countries across five continents. Every lot was sold.
The auction was preceded by a pre-sale exhibition in London, attended by thousands of fans.
The two works which sold for the most money were both by iconic British artist Damien Hirst. The Incomplete Truth went for $1.2 million, while his piece Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain sold for $1.16 million.
Several works by another acclaimed artist, Tracy Emin, a friend of George’s, were also sold. One, created by Emin especially for the singer, spells out “George Loves Kenny” in neon, in reference to George and his then-boyfriend, Kenny Goss.
A portrait of George by artist Michael Craig-Young, another friend of the late singer’s, went for just under $233,000. Three other works by Craig-Young, all of which, according to Christie’s, referenced George’s 1998 arrest for “engaging in a lewd act in a public restroom,” also sold for hundreds of thousands. The three works depicted, respectively: the word “Sex,” a urinal, and a pair of handcuffs.
According to Christie’s, the money raised from the auction will go to “extend the philanthropic legacy he built so generously and so privately during his lifetime.”
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