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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the subway by the present owner in 1985.

  • Catalogue Essay

    "In the late Spring of 1985, I regularly used the subway at 33rd and Park. It's Not a Laptop and Totem were located at this stop. Upon first viewing, I did not attempt to peel them from the surface. Part of me wanted the public to enjoy them; for one day. Returning the following late evening with a mat knife, I was thrilled to find that they were both still there. I quickly cut them from the wall and put them under my coat.

    Still bright, fresh and crisp as a potato chip, they are as clean as the moment Keith Haring drew them back in 1985.

    It was in the year of 1985 that he would boast in his subway drawings writing: Still Alive In '85."

  • Artist Biography

    Keith Haring

    American • 1958 - 1990

    Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, Keith Haring moved to New York City in 1978 at the age of 20 to study at the School of Visual Arts. By the early 1980s, Haring rose to prominence for his graffiti drawings made in the New York subways and streets. Alongside his friends Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, who he met at the SVA, Haring became a leading figure of the East Village art scene through the 1970s and 1980s.

    Best known for his cartoon-like imagery developed through bold lines and vibrant colors, Haring refined a visual language of symbols that simplified forms to their most essential elements. Exploring the themes of birth and death, sex and war, social inequality, and love, his art bridged the high and low, erasing the distinctions between rarefied art, political activism, and popular culture. Despite his tragically brief career, Haring created a universal visual language embraced throughout the world, and his works are housed in many major collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, Ludwig Museum, Cologne, and Nakamura Keith Haring Collection in Hokuto, Japan.

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Totem

chalk on paper
106.7 x 76.2 cm. (42 x 30 in.)
Executed in 1985.

Estimate
£20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for £22,500

Contact Specialist
Tamila Kerimova
+ 44 20 7318 4065

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 6 October 2016