The 53-year-old was a keen collector of works by the Young British Art movement and was friends with many artists. They included pieces by Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. The highest price was for The Incomplete Truth, a 2006 Hirst work consisting of a dove preserved in formaldehyde, which sold for £911,250.
Another of Hirst’s works – Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain, a representation of the death of the Christian martyr using a bull encased in formaldehyde – sold for £875,250 at the London auction.
Bridget Riley’s 1982 painting Songbird, the first major work Michael acquired, fetched £791,250, while Hurricane, a 2007 work by Emin, sold for £431,250.
Other lots sold included three works by Michael Craig-Martin that reference Michael’s 1998 notorious arrest for engaging in a sexual act in a public toilet. Untitled (SEX), Untitled (GOD) and Handcuffs sold for £125,000, £40,000 and £112,500 respectively. A life-size bronze gorilla by Angus Fairhurst that used to sit in Michael’s garden also went under the hammer, fetching £118,750.
The money raised will go to causes that the philanthropic star supported.