A report by Isabelle Hore-Thorburn for HighSnobiety.
Keith Haring’s personal art collection is being put up for auction and it reflects the legendary company he kept in the New York East Village Art scene of the 1970s and ’80s. Following his death, Harring left behind 140 artworks from luminaries such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein.
Harrison Tenzer, head of Sotheby’s online contemporary art sales explains, “the collection is remarkably autobiographical, just as any great collector’s estate is a window into their individual perspective, Keith Haring collected through relationships to those he was stylistically, morally and intellectually aligned with.”
The Haring Foundation has arranged with Sotheby’s to sell the artworks in an online auction called “Dear Keith,” beginning on September 24. The auction is expected to raise nearly $1 million with a selection ranging from a $100 painting by David Bowes to a $250,000 Warhol print.
Ahead of the auction, we’ve looked some of the most exciting pieces and what it tells us about the legendary artists and his peers.
Andy Warhol, Portrait of Keith Haring and Juan DuBose
Haring met Andy Warhol in 1982 and their friendship would prove instrumental in Haring’s eventual success. “I met (Warhol) finally through [photographer] Christopher Makos, who brought me to the Factory. At first, Warhol was very distant. It was difficult for him to be comfortable with people if he didn’t know them.”
Eventually, Warhol warmed up to him.”He was more friendly. We started talking, going out. We traded a lot of works at that time.”
Warhol made his Polaroids of Haring and his partner Juan Dubose in preparation for several forty by forty-inch painted portraits. Both Haring and Dubose would later die of AIDS.
Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled.
Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat met in New York in the ’70s. “They weren’t rivals” explains curator Dr Dieter Buchhart, but the rivalry between them inspired them to get better at their art.” When Basquiat died of a drug overdose in 1988, Haring paid homage to him with his work A Pile of Crowns, for Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Roy Lichtenstein, Forms in Space
Haring was a fan of the pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein and his Forms in Spacehung in Haring’s New York apartment. At the height of the AIDS crisis, Haring and Lichtenstein created protest paraphernalia that are now considered modern masterpieces.
All proceeds from the “Dear Keith” auction benefit the Center, an L.G.B.T.Q. community organization in the West Village. Register to bid here.
“It feels as if Keith himself rallied his friends to make art for this specific purpose,” said Gil Vazquez, acting director of the foundation. “The Center embodies so much of what Keith was about: community, empowerment and the support of our future, the youth.”