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Auction house Christie’s is set to unveil “Keith Haring: Pixel Pioneer,” a collection of five unique digital drawings crafted by the iconic artist in the mid-1980s using an Amiga computer. The online auction, open from September 12 to 20, breathes new life into Haring’s early digital endeavors, bridging the gap between the physical art world and the burgeoning Web3 space.
Haring, a beacon of a generation of artists who championed art as a call to the masses, seamlessly blended disparate cultures through his creations. His work, characterized by bold lines and vibrant colors, found a home both in public spaces and revered galleries. Much like his mentor Andy Warhol, Haring embraced the digital age early on, even incorporating the first Apple Macintosh computer into his art.
The auction showcases Haring’s foresight and early adoption of a medium that now dominates commercial design and 21st-century digital art. The Amiga drawings, previously confined to floppy disks, have been minted on the Ethereum blockchain by the Keith Haring Foundation, allowing them to be collected, exhibited, and printed for the first time.
Nicole Sales Giles, Christie’s Vice President and Director of Digital Art Sales, expressed her belief that Haring would have been a Web3 community frontrunner, given his penchant for merging art and mass culture. She noted, “Haring’s work embodied an era where art crept outside the traditional gallery walls and into the streets.” Giles anticipates that the Amiga drawings will become sought-after additions to premier contemporary art collections.
Gil Vazquez, the Executive Director and President of the Keith Haring Foundation, emphasized the monumental significance of minting the artworks as NFTs. He hailed the collection as a pivotal moment in recognizing Haring’s pioneering role in the digital art space. “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,” Vazquez remarked.
The Keith Haring Foundation, which orchestrated this collaboration alongside the Keith Haring Studio and global licensing agency Artestar, remains committed to sustaining and expanding Haring’s legacy. The private non-operating foundation not only safeguards Haring’s art and ideals but also supports non-profit organizations aiding children and those engaged in AIDS-related education, prevention, and care.