Keith Haring - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, October 5, 2016 | Phillips
  • 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

    Haring's art and life typified youthful exuberance and fearlessness. While seemingly playful and transparent, Haring dealt with weighty subjects such as death, sex and war, enabling subtle and multiple interpretations. 

    Throughout his tragically brief career, Haring refined a visual language of symbols, which he called icons, the origins of which began with his trademark linear style scrawled in white chalk on the black unused advertising spaces in subway stations. Haring developed and disseminated these icons far and wide, in his vibrant and dynamic style, from public murals and paintings to t-shirts and Swatch watches. His art bridged high and low, erasing the distinctions between rarefied art, political activism and popular culture. 

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

£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