George Michael, Addicted to Art, Pills, or the Two Together


This morning Page Six reported that George Michael has been on an art-buying binge in the last month:

Michael_george“In the past month, the superstar has spent $20 million on pieces by controversial shark-pickler Damien Hirst, among others, boosting the value of his personal collection up to a whopping $80 million. A source close to the 43-year-old star, who opens the new Wembley Stadium with two dates next month, tells us: ‘George is hugely into his art. He made a lot of money from his 53-date tour last year and he thought this would be a good way to invest it. He’s chosen pieces by Damien, photographer David LaChapelle and Tracey Emin. They wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste but they’re hugely collectible and are certain to go up in value.’ Michael will exhibit some of the works in partner Kenny Goss’ gallery in Dallas. Meanwhile, Michael was outbid Thursday during a heated auction at Christie’s for a Hirst piece. A source said Michael dropped out after the price hit $6 million. His rep declined to comment.”

Michael also recently told British TV host Michael Parkinson that his incidents behind the wheel were due to a dependence on pills: “It involves prescribed drugs and it involves a dependency on them and the tendency to chase one drug with another because of side effects.”

Out of curiosity, I checked the Christie’s block to see what Damien Hirst had up for auction at the recent blockbusting Christie’s auctions, and in addition to a gorgeous Malaysian butterfly piece called “Wonder of You”, there was another piece that may have cried out for Michael.

Setting a world auction record for Hirst at Christie’s (it sold for $7.4 million) was “Lullaby Winter”, a sculpture consisting of glass, stainless steel, and rows and rows of painted cast pills. Hundreds of capsules and tablets line glistening shelves. It’s a work that speaks to society’s unhealthy reliance on medicine.

If Michael were to pop one of these painstakingly-recreated pills, however, it wouldn’t do much. Probably not a great art piece for an admitted addict to have around though. And of course, George could have very well been after the butterflies.



  1. says

    that’s not art, by the way; it’s a one note documentary – it’s a thesis – it’s a conversation piece – it’s just a mirror with a bunch of pills.

    he was robbed.

  2. says

    you’re too coy, Andy. That pill piece was only Hirst to go over $2m. When you back out the buyer’s premium from the $7.4m price, it equals a $6.1mm winning bid, which would make Michael the underbidder, with $6m.

    I agree that it’s a problematic piece for a pillpopper to live with, but now that word’s out that Michael’s in the market and willing to spend, I’m sure some dealers will be beating the bushes to help him get a fix.

  3. SGR says

    The first line of the Page Six piece reads, “WHO knew George Michael – known more lately for his boozy arrests and trysts with prostitutes than his singing – was such an art collector?”

    I don’t recall any stories of George Michael involving trysts with prostitutes. I wonder if they have him mixed up with Boy George.

    That said, it’s rather sweet how they mainstreamed his pot and alleged GHB use down to mere “boozing.”

  4. Leland says

    “Setting a world auction record for Hirst at Christie’s (it sold for $7.4 million) … It’s a work that speaks to” the fact that far too many people have far more money than brains. Here’s my most recent BM: it speaks to the fact that the modern “art” world is full of crap.

  5. says

    @ Charles: why doyou think GM is a “train wreck” … seems alright to me. He’s going through part 2 of a massive tour that is selling out everywhere. He’s investing money he earned from last year. And yeah, he cruises and has a prescription drug problem … but those two things alone don’t make you a train wreck. A true train wreck would be Anna Nicole Smith (May she rest in piece). I don’t think George Michael is THAT messed up.

  6. mik says

    hmm, I like how the pill piece creates a blurry field of vision in the 2nd picture posted here from afar. Perhaps to remind himself of pill’s effets he bought that to remind him to keep in check…it’s not like it’s a piece made in celebration of pills so why anyone might think it would be tuanting himself to have it around sounds like they may need to take their ginko biloba, cut the guy some slack – he is a major talent and has made our mainstream lives a lot easier for just being who he has been and is.

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