George Michael, George, Tracy Yemen discussed on The Art Newspaper Weekly


Yeah. East people Tostes brought to you in association with Bonhams auctioneers since seventeen ninety three with expertise in more than sixty categories of collecting it specialists will connect you with your passion. Find what defines you at Bonhams dot com. Hello and welcome to the art newspaper puck cost. I'm Ben league. Last week. We began to keep at the Venice Biennale and this week who take a look at another ban. You the one in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, the artists shes at Dowd, issuing new virtual reality work in the biannual. And who we telling us all about it later, but first celebrity auctions after the David Bowie collection prompted an avalanche of visitors to sell the bees in London into Steen. Another Popstars collection is now during similarly huge crowds to Christie's the collection of George Michael the singer songwriter and former leader of the band WAM who died, of course, on Christmas day into sixteen in a short period in the two thousands, Michael master, huge collection of contemporary art with these then partner Kenny Goss, and we'll one hundred fifty lots in two sales this week sixty one lots in an evening sale at Christie's and the rest in an online sale. We'll hear what happened at your directly from the salesroom in a moment. But before that, I spoke to palace Ariza, no Fendi, especially in postwar and contemporary at Christie's about the collection. Power Duke Markle's from an era when they were lots of Popstars who had quite an RT identity actually do too much more of a kind of poppy postone he's early years. But when did he develop this interesting out? Although collection starts towards the early two thousands. And I think that's when he started having more of a relationship with the y BA artists who in the nineties kind of broke the mold for art history. And I think he felt this connection between them as kind of rebels and poets of their time. And I think as well, that's why in the early two thousands after can creating these relationships he decided to really start collecting and having them within his various homes, the George Michael collection, but the can go the hugely influential figure this is George Markle's pawn to what extent was he and influence on George's interesting. Well, when they were together, they very much had these relationships with the together can gos- introduced him to many of the artists, and it was very much a collaboration with both of them. When collect. Eating these works. And then showing it within the foundation, which is the Goss Michael foundation. So it was very much a partnership, and I think when you speak to the artists they remember it fondly remember both of them as kind of equal partners when creating this collection. Interesting to me is that the collection was assembled in a very short period. I noted that in the evening sale there. Twenty seven works of sixty one works that required in in two thousand seven alone. What accounts for that sort of pace of collecting? I think you know, when we were speaking with the various galleries and artists, you know, George Michael would come and just kind of fall in love with us next Bishen and some works have been either purchased right, then and there others might have been alongside gifts from the artist as a thank you. I think because of that it seems as if it seems as if he bought everything all of the same time, but it was all various conversations it could have been different shows in different years. And then of course, because of these kind of close relationships he was able to kind of as well, get really great creek gifts from the likes of Tracy Yemen, and Michael Craig Martin Tracey Ullman seems to been the Lynch pin of his closest friends and friend amongst the group is that the case yes in the collection. There's fourteen works by Tracy. So very much kind of the most collected artists. Within the collection. And so this is because she was the first he created a relationship with and was very much after in finding a true friendship, and because of that the relationship that they had together she introduced him to the other. Why be as and that's how he kind of expanded the collection. So yes, it's she was count the nucleus. And then everything grew from there. These words a quite large some of them quite difficult to install particularly those works by Damien Hirst informality, HUD, for instance. It's some of almost seems like institutional collecting, and there was this foundation. The the dos Michael foundation that was set up. So were they in in a way buying for that institution as opposed to for their personal spaces? I think each art work don't they get size matter to George. I think it was more of he prided that each work was kind of the best of each artists in if you look at that these are examples of the artists that I consider the best of each one. I think he was fearless. When it was coming to collecting. So I don't think size mattered these did fit in within his homes, especially when he lived in Los Angeles. And I wouldn't look at the size. But just more of that. Yes. He wanted the best of each artists. And this is what these works are what do you think it was that he responded to in the office works there? Also. Common themes that link those artists works oversleep that's party because they were part of the same generation and therefore Shane shared complains anyway, but but they're also certain teaching of a sexual nature, for instance, between certain artists the link that I see the most as well with Tracy is that there are both poets. I think a lot of these artworks can of show as if the retitled or have this lyrical melodic quality than you see within as the relax George Michael's songs. I think all of our works. Also tend to a different mood the same way that the songs of George Michael would attend to any of our moods. And I think that's why they were the shared this love and artistry with all the artists, and I think the collection reflects it in that way. Do you think there was a kinship between the artists and George because? So at the time that he's buying. They had become celebrities in the sense. They're Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. We're not just on the arts pages they were in the gossip columns they were on the front page. They were they were. They were household names in their own, right? Do you think there was this kinship in that sense? The thing is by new talk to the artists about the relationship with George Michael it, they really there's a vulnerability the way that they speak about him. And I think it's a much more human connection rather than anything of glossy magazine. Paged type of way, I think they truly were friends, and I think people like Tracy in and George were you can kind of go up to and talk to and have a quite honest chat with and I think that's kind of the relationship they had with each other. I wouldn't wouldn't consider that this is a collection made because they were just at the top of the charts. In a certain way of saying during the art market. But I think it's truly that he found a kinship in a relationship that was beyond that record from galleries, but also from auctions of different kinds. It's clear that to me the one of the ways that these artists, and and Georgia linked through their work for aids churches, can you tell us something about that. Because Tracey Emin is deeply involved with the Terrence Higgins trust, for instance, and Georges oversee was always big campaign for aids charities. I think what's so special about this auction and this collection coming out in life. Is that you see that George Michael was a truth Lantra passed and was quite anonymous about it. He really did not want that to be known or shared and the work that he did barges in auction. We're all for charity. And I think it was his way of giving back, and it was just out of his personality. So because. Of his relationship with Tracy because he was such a huge philanthropist. And I think this is just why it makes it clear that he would purchase some of these works through. These auctions is interesting though, that he did take part in actions in that sense. You know, that's a quote a public way to engage with to notice the that he acquired one of the works in the collection at that very famous or infamous Damien Hirst sale at southern Byzantine thousand eight just as the global crash was happening. So I think that's quite an interesting aspect to this. Isn't it? As part of this will wind of collecting he was buying auction and trying to acquire works that he he was desperate for its aims. I think as while he was supportive of his peers of the work that he collected as well. And I think the way that I heard that he would collect his that if you'd like something, and he felt that had to be his he would just purchase at. So. I think yeah. If he was after work whether it be knock Shen, but for the most part it was by gallery via the artists themselves. He would definitely go after that. Can you tell us how he worked with artists because I was there is the commission portrait of him by Michael quake math team, which is the one of those LCD screens, which where you have these constantly evolving colors in muck-rake multis, very inimitable style. Did he do much commissioning? All did he largely by existing? He did not do much commissioning. I think it was more of gifts. So kind of a way of giving back. So speaking to Michael Craig Martin that work was you know, he has three other works that are fantastic paintings. And I think because of that close relationship it's really the artists that have the idea to. Kind of approach them being like we wanted. You know, gift you, this work that we feel as a thank you for being part of such a great and. Really while named collection. And can you tell us what happens now because the you'll raising the funds, but it's a charity auction. Yes. How does that work from Christie's point of view you've done a will tool for the for this collection? It must be quite an expensive endeavor for you. So how how does it work for Christie's? Do you use your fees? If it's a charity auction. I'm sure that looks of our won't charity work. Yes. For us. It's much more of giving back and helping the charities. We we definitely take off fees because of that. We decided because of the the type of collection it is. And an our dedication to to really doing this, right? Is we wanted to share with the world wide global audience? And because of that we have so many people kind of coming through the doors and have seen in around the world. And with that in mind that creates more bids and more action to give back to the charity and all of the funds are going back to the charitable projects that either have already. Seen money from George Michael when he was still alive and few future endeavors that the family wishes to to continue on. But he was very anonymous about it, which is why the foundation wishes to stay anonymous. And you know, they do want to continue on this legacy of Lathrop, e these in the of George Michael's collection that remains intact and isn't on sale as -posedly selection i-it's, some of his holdings, which remain remained in in the hands of the family all with can go. So most of it is in the I would say like ninety nine percent, you know, maybe one or two things that the family decided to keep us out of memory of him. And, you know, something small that reminds them of him this goes as well for the memorabilia, a lot of people are asking why we didn't have, you know, start an items up, but I. It's because he was such a personal and private person that the sisters and those who knew him onto continue that way. Does the fact that these works would be known by George Michael mean, but they will attract higher beats than the if similar works but owned by more anonymous when we estimated each work, we had that in mind, but as well because it's for charity a lot of the for the most part, the estimates are lower than what they would be in the current market because we want to raise as much funds as possible for the charity into live on his name, of course, with any type of kind of grand. You know, you saw this with the Rockefeller collection. You know, even the plate sold for one hundred thousand pounds. And I think of course, a name always creates excitement, but at the same time, it does open it up to a audience that is outside. The art world or outside, the usual. Client base of Christie's. I think you have people that are now getting involved in bidding and buying works that because they were fans of George Michael and a really thinking of him and thinking of this icon and his legacy rather than who is the work by or what is the market for this artist or who is there gallery. So I think that's what makes this whole venture so exciting thrilling and Thursday night is going to be a really fantastic evening. Okay. Thank you very much. Well, thank you, so much lovely speaking to you. Say

Coming up next