85-foot keith haring mural cut out of new york wall and sent to auction

85-foot keith haring mural cut out of new york wall and sent to auction

a mural painted by keith haring inside a catholic youth center on manhattan’s upper west side is headed to auction. described as a ‘lexicon of haring’s vocabulary,’ the monumental work includes some of the artist’s most iconic figures, such as the ‘radiant baby’ and ‘barking dog.’

85-foot keith haring mural cut out of new york wall and sent to auction

images courtesy of the keith haring foundation archives
header image courtesy of bonhams



keith haring started painting the mural in 1983 eventually filling an entire three-storey stairwell with his iconic dancing figures. when grace house eventually closed, the mural’s 13 figures were cut out and preserved into 15 separate sections. those sections will be put on bonhams’ auction block in november, the the new york times reports.

85-foot keith haring mural cut out of new york wall and sent to auction



the mural begins with haring’s ‘radiant baby’ figure, a symbol featuring a crawling infant surrounded by rays of light — one of the most recognisable aspects of haring’s work. over one evening the artist painted a dozen more figures dancing up the stairs. it reportedly cost the nearby church of the ascension, which had control of the building, $900,000 to extract the work when it decided to sell it.

85-foot keith haring mural cut out of new york wall and sent to auction



‘when new kids came to that building and they saw all that stuff, they said, ‘oh my god, this is keith haring. is this real?’’ gary mallon, who was director of the youth center, said. ‘he had a can of black paint in his hand and a black, kind of a thick brush, and he just started with that radiant baby on the first floor and then just worked his way up. we followed him, and I remember saying, ‘ooh, it’s dripping,’ and he said, ‘that’s o.k. it’s supposed to drip.’’

85-foot keith haring mural cut out of new york wall and sent to auction



the mural is expected to sell for $3 million to $5 million USD and will go on view to the public at bonhams’ galleries from november 2.


video by tate



in other news, a short film released by the tate exploring art and artists has taken a look inside keith haring’s journals from the 1980s. the film explores how graffiti, pop art and hip hop culture inspired haring’s work. haring is the subject of a major exhibition at the tate’s liverpool gallery, the first major exhibition in the UK of american artist, on show until november 10, 2019.


project info:


artwork: grace house mural
auction house: bonhams
estimated cost: $3 million – $5 million USD
site images: keith haring foundation
auction images: courtesy of bonhams


video: artist keith haring’s journals — ‘I’m glad I’m different’
series: tateshorts


gallery: tate liverpool
keith haring
dates: 14 june – 10 november 2019

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    art news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    492,661 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample