George Michael’s art collection up for auction at Christie’s
LONDON (AP) — George Michael left a rich legacy of music — and of visual art.
The musician’s collection of works by some of Britain’s most famous contemporary artists is going up for auction in London next month, auctioneer Christie’s announced Friday.
The sale includes pieces by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas and other members of the “Young British Artists” generation who, like Michael, shook up Britain’s creative scene in the 1980s and 90s.
Cristian Albu, co-head of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, said the collection is “a portrait of Britain in the 1990s.”
He said Michael wanted “to celebrate a time in which new life was breathed into London,” and began buying works by artists who became personal friends.
“He was introduced to Tracey Emin and from then everything is history,” Albu said. “Tracey introduced him to the whole gang. ... He was going to their studios and they were coming to his concerts.”
More than 200 works will go under the hammer, including Hirst’s “The Incomplete Truth,” a glass case enclosing a dove preserved in formaldehyde, which has an estimated price of 1 million pounds to 1.5 million pounds ($1,280,000 to $1,920,000).
Also up for sale is one of Emin’s self-revealing works, “Drunk to the Bottom of My Soul,” an embroidered blanket with an estimate of 180,000 pounds to 250,000 pounds ($230,400 to $320,000).
The collection includes several pieces by Young British Artists mentor Michael Craig-Martin, including a pop art-style portrait of Michael, commissioned by the musician and estimated at 60,000 pounds to 80,000 pounds ($76,800 to $102,400).
Christie’s plans to tour the collection internationally before the sale in London on March 14, with stops in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Some lots will also be sold in an online auction running March 8-15.
Arizona regulators extend ban on new gas power plants
TUCSON (AP) — State regulators have extended a moratorium on new natural-gas power plants until August.
The Arizona Daily Star reports the Arizona Corporation Commission on Wednesday voted to extend until Aug. 1 a previous order effectively banning Tucson Electric Power Co. and other state-regulated power companies from buying or constructing new gas-fired plants with generating capacities of 150 megawatts or more.
Tucson Electric Power Co. spokesman Joe Barrios says the ban will have little immediate effect on the company, which is building a new gas plant at the H. Wilson Sundt Generating Station in Tucson.
The utility panel had adopted the initial order in March 2018, requiring the utilities to submit detailed studies of alternative energy storage options and petition for approval before mounting plans for any new gas plants.
Instagram changes rules on self-harm postings
LONDON (AP) — Instagram has agreed to ban graphic images of self-harm after objections were raised in Britain following the suicide of a teen whose father said the photo-sharing platform had contributed to her decision to take her own life.
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri said Thursday evening the platform is making a series of changes to its content rules.
He said: “We are not where we need to be on self-harm and suicide, and we need to do more to protect the most vulnerable in our community.”
Mosseri said further changes will be made.
“I have a responsibility to get this right,” he said. “We will get better and we are committed to finding and removing this content at scale, and working with experts and the wider industry to find ways to support people when they’re most in need.”
The call for changes was backed by the British government after the family of 14-year-old Molly Russell found material related to depression and suicide on her Instagram account after her death in 2017.
Her father, Ian Russell, said he believes the content Molly viewed on Instagram played a contributing role in her death, a charge that received wide attention in the British press.
The changes were announced after Instagram and other tech firms, including Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, met with British Health Secretary Matt Hancock and representatives from the Samaritans, a mental health charity that works to prevent suicide.
Instagram is also removing non-graphic images of self-harm from searches.
Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement that independent experts advise that Facebook should “allow people to share admissions of self-harm and suicidal thoughts but should not allow people to share content promoting it.”