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Keith Haring: Pixel Pioneer

New York – WEBWIRE

Clockwise from Top Left: KEITH HARING (1958-1990): Untitled #2 (April 16, 1987), Estimate: $300,000-500,000; Untitled #1 (April 16, 1987), Estimate: $300,000-500,000; (see complete caption below)
Clockwise from Top Left: KEITH HARING (1958-1990): Untitled #2 (April 16, 1987), Estimate: $300,000-500,000; Untitled #1 (April 16, 1987), Estimate: $300,000-500,000; (see complete caption below)

Christie’s is honored to present Keith Haring: Pixel Pioneer, an online auction of five unique digital drawings created on an Amiga computer in the mid-1980s. The auction is open for bidding from 12–20 September, with an exhibition at Christie’s New York from 14–19 September and in Seoul, Korea from 7–8 September.

Keith Haring stands as an icon of a generation of artists; he was a pioneer in an era where art was a call to the masses. In the 1980s, Haring’s artistic practice blended historically disparate cultures; he was highly celebrated for his achievements in public artwork while simultaneously a massively successful figure in the gallery world. It is, thus, a natural extension of his legacy for his art to continue to bridge today’s artistic cultures – fusing the physical art world with the world of Web3.

Much like his friend and mentor Andy Warhol, Keith Haring was an early admirer and adopter of the digital age, even depicting the first Apple Macintosh computer in his work. In keeping with his signature style of bold lines and pop color, Haring’s Amiga drawings show the artist’s early interest and involvement in the medium, which has since become pervasive in commercial design and 21st-century digital art.

To accurately preserve the natively digital material created on a now-vintage computer system, the Keith Haring Foundation has minted these five Amiga artworks — previously only viewable via floppy disks — on the Ethereum blockchain. For the first time, these unique digital drawings can now be collected, exhibited, and even printed.

Nicole Sales Giles, Christie’s Vice President and Director of Digital Art Sales, commented, “It has been an honor to work with the Keith Haring Foundation on this project. Haring’s work embodied an era where art crept outside the traditional gallery walls and into the streets. I believe that as an early adopter of the digital age and as a strong proponent of bridging art and mass culture, Haring would have been at the forefront of the Web3 community. With an aesthetic that translates naturally to the digital medium, Haring’s Amiga drawings will be coveted additions to all best-in-class contemporary art collections.”

Gil Vazquez, Executive Director and President of the Keith Haring Foundation, commented, “The minting of five natively digital masterpieces by Keith Haring created on the Commodore Amiga computer in 1987 as NFTs by Christie’s auction house carries an immense significance in digital art and NFTs. This collection by Haring represents a pivotal moment in identifying Haring as a pioneer in the digital art space and a groundbreaking convergence of art and technology. Haring’s distinct visual language, characterized by his iconic motifs and energetic lines, translates seamlessly into the digital art realm, underscoring the lasting relevance of his artistic legacy. These works honor that legacy, reaffirming the enduring significance of Haring’s art, and emphasize the limitless possibilities of art’s digital future.”

This collaboration is with the Keith Haring Studio, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Keith Haring Foundation. The Keith Haring Foundation’s mission is to sustain, expand, and protect the legacy of Keith Haring, his art, and his ideals. The Foundation supports not-for-profit organizations that assist children, as well as organizations involved in education, prevention, and care related to AIDS. The Keith Haring Foundation is a private non-operating foundation. It does not solicit or receive funds from the public.

Partnership done in collaboration with Artestar, a global licensing agency and creative consultancy representing high profile artists, photographers, designers and creatives.

Done with technical partner Digital Practice.

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. Christie’s has sold 8 of the 10 most important single-owner collections in history, including the Paul G. Allen Collection—the most valuable collection ever offered at auction (November 2022). In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). 

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability by reducing our carbon emissions by 50% and pledging to be net zero by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.



Clockwise from Top Left: KEITH HARING (1958-1990): Untitled #2 (April 16, 1987), Estimate: $300,000-500,000; Untitled #1 (April 16, 1987), Estimate: $300,000-500,000; Untitled (Feb 2, 1987), Estimate: $220,000-320,000; Untitled (April 14, 1987), Estimate: $300,000-500,000; Untitled (Feb 3, 1987), Estimate: $200,000-300,000 © Keith Haring Foundation

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