Tag Archive | Tracey Emin

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!

Must See Art: The Last Brucennial!

Divinity of The Masterpiece
You Invest in the Divinity of The Masterpiece By Barbara Kruger (All Photos By Gail)

Contemporary Art Fans: here’s fun show that you won’t want to miss, and it’s only up for two more weeks, so act fast! Curator/Dealer Vito Schnabel (son of Artist and Film Director Julian Schnabel) and the Bruce High Quality Foundation (BHQF), an anonymous art collective focused on providing free art education through Bruce High Quality Foundation University (BHQFU), are currently hosting The Last Brucennial: a group show featuring the works of over 600 Known and Unknown Artists across a wide variety of mediums.

Last Brucennial Entrance Shot
Gallery View from Washington Street Entrance

The extremely diverse and highly engaging show is located in a massive new retail space just across from the future site of the Whitney Museum of American Art, which premiered its Biennial group exhibit on the same night as The Last Brucennial’s opening reception. The Last Brucennial — as the name hints at — will wrap up a six-year legacy of Brucennial exhibits, after which the BHQF can focus its energy and resources toward the activities of BHQFU and its 700 enrolled students.

Founded in 2008 in direct opposition to other high-profile biennials that seek to advance the commercialization of art, the Brucennial is not a curated group show, but a celebration of and catalyst for an ever-widening community of artists. This year’s call for artists, I was told by a contributing artist in the show, was conducted solely by word of mouth. This exhibit is also noteworthy in that it features the works of female artists, exclusively. It’s fun to see the works of both widely known artists such as Barbara Kruger, Lynda Benglis and Tracey Emin alongside the paintings and sculptures by artists for whom this exhibit represents their first public showing.

Here are a few of our favorite pieces from the show, along with random commentary:

Stairway to Heaven Exterior

This horn-shaped installation you see above is the first piece to your left upon entering the space. From within, it broadcasts a drastically slowed down recording of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” which was so slow it made the tempo of a dirge seem more like a jig. The recording is loud enough to be heard in adjacent galleries.

Stairway to Heaven Tunnel Interior

This is what it looked like inside. You can see the speaker emerging from a pile of dirt.

Assemblage Sculpture with Heart

I call this one “Assemblage Sculpture with Heart, Lion Head and Hair Extensions.”

Tracey Emin Trust Yourself Pink Neon

Trust Yourself Pink Neon Sculpture by Tracey Emin.

Church Alter with Beach Balls

This Photo of a Church Altar with Umbrella and Beach Balls reminded me somewhat of Robert Mapplethorpe’s Altar Installations.

True Detective Installation

Off to the right in the above photo, you will see what I call the True Detective Installation, which looks like some kind of medieval Stock devise with attached antlers in and around which a fully nude live model is entwined. When I saw this piece I could not help but think of the way in which Dora Lange’s lifeless body was found in the premier episode of that popular HBO crime drama, though I do not know if that was an influence on the artist.

Globe Umbrella Sculpture

This is one of my favorites: a colorful Sculpture Of Found Objects that includes Mixing Bowls, a Waste Basket, a Globe and an Umbrella. If it lit up like a lamp, my head would explode.

Cheese Puffs

This looks like a container of crocheted Cheese Puffs. The artist’s name, which is written directly on the wall just below the frame, looks like Breanne Tremmez. I wasn’t too diligent about noting the names of all of these artists, so if you see your work in this post please feel free to identify yourself in the comments.

Cheeseburger Santa

“Cheeseburger Santa Puzzle.”

Coffee Cup and Painting

Marsh Lines series Coffee Cup and Matching Painting By Gwyneth Leech. You can see more of Gwyneth’s work at This Link.

Big Stick and Bomb Pop Sculptures

Big Stick and Bomb Pop Sculptures By Bee Spiderman!

Food Containers by Adriana Farmiga

I love the banality of this piece by Adriana Farmiga.

Plaster Rubble

People were letting their unsupervised children run around like maniacs. Fortunately, it did not affect this work, comprised of a pile of plaster rubble.

Woman Picking Up Bees

I wonder what story this one is trying to tell us. I like looking at it. (Art By Gigi Chen)

Feminist Performance Art

“Feminist Performance Art.”

The Last Brucennial will be on Exhibit Through April 4th, 2014 at 837 Washington (Corner of Washington St. and 13th St.) in the Meat Packing District. Exhibit Hours are Wednesday – Sunday 12 Noon to 6:00 PM.

Socrates Sculpture Park Presents: Do It Outside

Do It Outside Signage
All Photos By Gail, Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail

Summer weather has finally come to NYC and – after hiding in your apartment for six months – it’s the perfect time to get outdoors on the weekends, explore the city, and even get to the outer boroughs, which I hardly ever do. This past Saturday, Geoffrey and I went exploring in the far off land of Queens to check out the Socrates Sculpture Park and its current exhibit, Do it Outside! Woo!

Do It Outside Artists Statement

Do it Outside is a very fun and thought-provoking exhibit conceived and curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, in which a selection of artists’ instructions are interpreted by other artists, performers, community groups and the public. It is pretty cool and exciting to see what people come up with based on just a printed sheet of instructions and the projects that come out as the result. Art!

Folly By Toshihiro Oki Architects
Folly By Toshihiro Oki Architects (Crystal Chandelier In Tree Framed By 2x4s)

To fully appreciate this art exhibit – which also includes elements of performance art and installation – you really need to see it in person, but I have included a selection of my photos here so you can get the idea of what Do It Outside is all about.

Tracey Emin What Would Tracey Do Instructions
Tracey Emin, What Would Tracey Do? (Instructions)

Tracey Emin What Would Tracey Do Executed
What Would Tracey Do? (Executed Project)

Yoko Ono Wish Project Instructions
Yoko Ono Wish Project (Instructions)

Yoko Ono Wish Tree
Wish Tree

Yoko Ono Wish Tree Wish 2
I’d Say This Person Got His or Her Wish!

Felix Gonzalez Torres Untitled Instructions
Felix Gonzalez-Torres Untitled, Instructions

Feix Gonzalez Torres Untitled Executive Work
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Executed Project

Alison Knowles Each Red Thing Instructions
Alison Knowles, Homage to Each Red Thing (Instructions)

Alison Knowles Each Red Thing Executed
Alison Knowles, Homage to Each Red Thing, Executed

Tobias Rehberger Instruction and Complete Project
Tobias Rehberger, Instruction and Completed Project (Click to Enlarge)

Instructions for Project Conceived by Paul McCarthy
Instructions for Project Conceived by Paul McCarthy

Project Conceived by Paul McCarthy 1
Paul McCarthy Project, Executed

Project Conceived by Paul McCarthy 2

Most of the exhibit is under a shaded walkway, so that helps to deflect the sun, but fair skinned peeps should still wear sun block and a hat or bring an umbrella to protect you from burning or passing out from heat stroke, because a little sun goes a long way.

Horseradish

After you are done walking through the exhibit you can also visit the small Green Market where local growers sell stuff like fresh vegetables, baked goods and cheeses. The Market is open Saturdays from June through November 16th, 2013, from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Flavored Cow Cheese

Socrates Sculpture Park Garden

There are some nice gardens also.

Heads on Sticks

They also had a shaded area set up for children’s crafts, which you / your child can participate in. Saturday’s craft was called Heads on Sticks. Which, yes.

Do it Outside will be on Exhibit through July 7, 2013, at Socrates Sculpture Park, Located at 32-01 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens NY 11106. Phone (718)956-1819 or visit This Link. Socrates is open 365 days a year from 10:00 AM to Sunset.

Socrates Sculpture Park Signage