George Michael's prized and pricey art collection going up for auction

This untitled portrait of George Michael was commissioned by Michael Craig-Martin.

As well as extending George Michael's long legacy as a supporter of many deserving causes, the sale of the collection represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for collectors, art lovers and the star's legions of fans to acquire art that he owned.

'George Michael was a much-admired creative genius of the music industry and the viewing of over 200 works of art from the private collection will provide a fascinating insight into the broader tastes of a man who was deeply admired all over the world'.

Cristian Albu, co-head of Post-War and Contemporary at Christie's, said that Michael's collection "is a celebration of the YBA movement's spirit of creativity and adventure in the late 1990s".

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. "Tracey introduced him to the whole gang".

A total of 75 works of art will go under the hammer at the main auction on 14 March, while another 130 pieces from the former Wham! singer's collection will be sold off online between 8-15 March.

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Also featured in the collection is an embroidered appliqué blanket from Tracey Emin, titled Drunk to the Bottom of My Soul (2002), valued at $230,400 to $320,000.

FILE - In this February 12, 2008 file photo, an unidentified person walks behind "The Incomplete Truth" by artist Damien Hirst that is on display at The Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas.

He also developed friendships with members of the Young British Artists (YBA) movement, including Emin, Hirst, Sarah Lucas, Michael Craig-Martin and Marc Quinn. In 1998, the singer was arrested by an undercover police officer in Los Angeles for lewd conduct in a public toilet.

"He took that moment and he turned it into a joke, and he turned that joke into art", Albu said.

The collection's ultimate destination is in London, where the artwork will be auctioned off at Christie's London location on March 14. Proceeds from the sale of the collection will be used to continue George Michael's philanthropic work. He died on December 25, 2016, aged 53, from heart disease and a build-up of fat in his liver. Across a stellar 35-year career, which began with Wham! in the early 1980s and flourished with a string of era-defining solo hits, he sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, packed stadiums and arenas from Tokyo to Tampa, and won scores of major awards, redefining pop music in the process.

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