Tag Archive | George Michael

The George Michael Collection at Christie’s

George Michael Collection
All Photos By Gail

For true pop music devotees — and particularly for those who came of age in the ’70s and ’80s2016 delivered a year of The Day The Music Died-level emotional trauma on a monthly basis. Like some kind of Plague Upon the Rock Stars, 2016 wiped out an entire lifetimes’ worth of legends, including David Bowie in early January, then Keith Emerson in March, Prince in April, Leonard Cohen in November and, as the year’s final fuck you — on Christmas day no less — we lost George Michael.

George Michael’s death at age 53 was especially devastating to my close friend Geoffrey, for whom Michael was not only a favorite recording artist but also a creative inspiration and role model. In March, George Michael’s personal art collection will be sold by Christie’s Auction House in London, with all proceeds going towards continuance of Michael’s philanthropic work. But before the collection hits the block to be sold worldwide for millions of pounds, an exhibit of representative pieces is touring a few cities where Christie’s has offices, so that George Michael fans can experience the joy that Michael surely felt while living with these beautiful and moving works of fine contemporary  art — many of which are by artists with whom Michael had personal relationships. Geoffrey recently relocated from Manhattan to Chicago, so when he asked me if I would attend the exhibit at Christie’s headquarters in Rockefeller Center, I said that I would. “Take Pictures of Everything,” he implored me, and I did. Sadly, out of the 200 pieces to be sold, the NYC leg of the exhibit only had twelve artworks on display. This is what I saw.

Handcuffs

Handcuffs (2002) by Michael Craig-Martin is expected to sell for between 30,000 to 50,000 GBP (Great British Pounds). This is my favorite piece among the collection on exhibit in New York.

Portrait

Portrait (2009) is a Bronze and California Redwood-based sculpture by Thomas Houseago. It is expected to fetch 40,000 to 60,000 GBP.

In The Park and American Tan XXIV

In The Park (1997) above left, and American Tan XXIV (2006-07), on the right, both by Gary Hume, are estimated to sell for 40,000 to 60,000 GBP each

Incorruptible Crown

Incorruptible Crown (2006) is one of four works by Damien Hirst in this collection. The kaleidoscopic design is created from butterfly wings under glass. It is expected to sell for between 300,000 to 400,000 GBP.

Video and Quote

The art is displayed in just two galleries, and in the second gallery there was a short video playing on a loop that tells you something about the collection and about who George Michael was as an artist and philanthropist. There were also quotes on the walls attributed to Michael, as well as a few quotes from various artists that he knew. It is in this room that I felt his spirit.

Immaculate Heart Sacred with Quote

Immaculate Heart Sacred

Photograph of Immaculate Heart-Sacred (2008) by Damien Hirst. The physical work is estimated to sell for between 120,000 and 180,000 GBP.

If you had any doubt that George Michael became rich beyond his wildest dreams, understand that there are three of Damien Hirst’s Natural History formaldehyde series works coming up for auction in London, which, owing to their potentially fragile nature, are represented in the exhibit only by photographs. The work pictured above is comprised of a pickled bull’s heart and dove wings skewered with a dagger and suspended in a glass vitrine of formaldehyde. I am sure that it will sell for much higher than the estimated price.

Paul McCartney Quote

Installation View

The Incomplete Truth

Photograph of The Incomplete Truth (2006) by Damien Hirst. Comprised of a Taxidermy Dove suspended in a vitrine of formaldehyde solution, the physical work is estimated to sell for between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 GBP.

San Sebastian, Exquisite Pain

Photograph of San Sebastian, Exquisite Pain (2007) by Damien Hirst is the artist’s take on the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. Comprised of a Bullock (a young bull) pierced with arrows and suspended in a formaldehyde-filled vitrine, it is expected to fetch between 1,000,000 to 1,500,00 GBP.

Untitled 2008 By Cecily Brown

Untitled (2008) oil painting by Cecily Brown, estimated to sell for between 350,000 to 550,000 GBP.

Drunk to the Bottom of My Soul

Tracey Emin’s Drunk to the Bottom of My Soul (2002) is a large-scale example of the artist’s celebrated appliquéd blankets, which transform traditional textile-based media into vehicles for raw, confessional poetry. This piece is estimated to sell for as high as 180,000 to 250,000 GBP.

Tracey Emin Quote

Installation View with Bridget Riley.

Bridget Riley’s Songbird (1982) (striped painting above, left), among Michael’s favorite works which hung above the fireplace in one of his homes, has an estimated final sale price of 400,000 to 600,000 GBP. Rebecca Warren’s Untiled (2002) (above, right) is a bronze and gold-painted statue with an estimated final sale price of between 120,000 and 180,000 GBP.

Installation View

Although the NYC exhibit is now closed, the George Michael Collection will make stops in Los Angeles (February 11th16th) and Hong Kong (February 19th22nd), before concluding with a special public view at Christie’s London headquarters (March 9th14th). These exhibits are free and open to the public, so if you live in one of these cities you can consult the Christie’s website for their location and hours.

Best of luck to all bidders!

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Pink Think of The Day: Elizabeth Taylor by Russell Young

Pink Elizabeth Taylor
Photo By Gail

Russell Young (born March 13, 1959) is a British-American artist. In the late 1970s, while living in London, he gained recognition photographing the early live club shows of Bauhaus, R.E.M. and The Smiths. During this period he shot portraits of Morrissey, Bjork, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, New Order, Diana Ross, and Paul Newman. In 1986, he shot the Faith sleeve for George Michael. In the following ten years he directed more than 100 music videos during the heyday of MTV.

In September 2000, while living in New York City, he began to concentrate on art and to devote himself to painting. Young is best known for his enamel, screen-print paintings on linen, which explore celebrity, rock and roll, death and history. His earliest notable works as an artist are his “Pig Portraits” – life-size Police mug shots of celebrities screened onto canvas. First shown in 2003, they proved a critical success and were exhibited in London and the United States.

Russell Young is represented by Taglialatella Galleries in NYC and you a can see a good selection of his large, glittery portraits any day, just by popping in during regular business hours. I took this shot of Young’s portrait depicting a stunning Liz Taylor at the opening reception for the launch of his new print of Jackie O. You miss so much when you don’t live in NYC.

Must See Concert: George Michael’s 25 Live Tour!

George!
Photos Courtesy of April. Thanks April!

I do a good job of keeping this on the downlow, but I am actually completely gay for singer George Michael. So, it was a thrill for me to be able to attend George’s show last night at New York’s Madison Square Garden, where Geoffrey and I found ourselves about six feet from the stage. Insanely gay!

George 2

George’s current tour features an out-of-control light and stage show, the star of which is the award winning, state-of-the art LED video screen designed and developed specifically for George Michael’s 25 Live tour. I am not fronting when I say that George’s show was so mind-blowingly psychedelic that, by comparison, it made Pink Floyd’s laser light spectacular look like Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree before the Holiday Spirit brought it to life.

George 3

The stage is also unique in that George’s fifteen-piece band performs behind him on a three-tier grid stage that looks a lot like the set of The Hollywood Squares. I’ve never seen anything like it. George played for three hours, with a 20 minute intermission at the one hour mark, so you can absolutely say that the tickets are worth whatever you have to pay for them, or whatever sexual favors you must provide in trade.

After the show, Geoffrey and I took our excited little asses backstage, where Geoffrey turned into a little girl and completely lost his mind after talking to George for five seconds. It was really quite adorable. I was also able to hang out with George’s drummer, Carlos Hercules, who had gotten us the sweet list action – thanks, Carlos!

Carlos and Gail
Carlos and Gail

And we both had our photos snapped with actor Neil Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser, How I Met Your Mother), who seems like a very sweet and hilarious person (and really cute). All in all, an excellent night out in the city!

Gail and Neal P Harris
Gail and Neil Patrick Harris

Oh, one more thing: one of George’s longtime back-up singers, Shirley Lewis, is married to this guy!

Madison Square Garden

July 21st, 2008 SET LIST:

First Half
Waiting (Reprise)
Fast Love/I’m Your Man
Father Figure
Hard Day
Everything She Wants
One More Try
Different Corner
Easier Affair
Too Funky
Star People

Interval
John & Elvis video

Second Half
Faith
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Spinning The Wheel

Feeling Good
Roxanne
Kissing A Fool
Amazing
Flawless
Outside
Different Corner
Careless Whisper

Freedom 90
Freedom Reprise