140 works that once belonged to the American artist Keith Haring, will make up the large selection being offered by the auction house Sotheby’s for its next online sale, from September 24th to October 1st. Entitled “Dear Keith: Works from the Personal Collection of Keith Haring”, this is the fruit of a collaboration between the famous auctioneers and the Haring Foundation, established by Keith Haring himself in 1989 to protect his art works and to advocate education on the prevention of AIDS. In order to perpetuate its charitable aim, the latter has decided to sell part of the private collection of the New York artist, well known for his graphic, colourful and often political paintings including Crack is Wack and Ignorance is Fear.
But this isn’t just a sale of works signed by the artist. Among the items, we also find numerous pieces created by his friends, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Futura 2000 and Kenny Scharf. From a painting by David Bowes, estimated at $100 to a screen-print by Andy Warhol of Keith Haring and his lover Juan Dubos with an estimate of $250,000, the wide range of prices should help the Haring Foundation raise nearly a million dollars. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to New York's LGBTQ Community Center in the West Village, a logical choice for Foundation Director Gil Vazquez: “The Center embodies so much of what Keith was about: community, empowerment, and the support of our future, the youth. We feel confident that this gift during this time for this purpose is the right thing.” In 1989, just nine months before his death at only 31, Keith Haring did one of his most monumental works in the toilets of this building: a black and white mural called Once Upon A Time.
“Dear Keith, is an especially meaningful event in what is the 30th anniversary of Keith’s passing," adds Gil Vazquez. “It feels as if Keith himself rallied his friends to make art for this specific purpose.” Revealing previously unknown stories about the life of the painter, from his studies at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) to his nights out at Club 57, all while celebrating New York’s legendary art scene of the 1970s and 80s, this rich collection being sold by Sotheby’s is above all autobiographical. While the sale itself is taking place online, the public will be able to see the lots between September 26th and 30th by appointment only at Sotheby’s galleries on York Avenue in Manhattan.
The sale “Dear Keith: Works from the Personal Collection of Keith Haring” will be held between September 24th and October 1st on the auction house Sotheby’s website.