Looking to sell a Haring print? Read our dedicated Keith Haring Sellers Guide.
Famous for his bold black-outlined figures and joyful primary colours, Keith Haring believed art was for the people. He produced street art on the Berlin Wall and billboards for Times Square, as well as construction sites and New York’s subway system. In his printed work, Haring tried to recapture the same accessibility, producing art that was heavily related to life at the time and could be purchased by anyone.
Haring’s work continues to be revered by the critics and kids alike, thanks to his continuing presence on the market and in museums. The Keith Haring Foundation has collaborated with streetwear brands and established fashion houses, such as Uniqlo and Coach, to ensure his work is as iconic now as it was during his lifetime.
Haring’s initial foray into prints and printmaking began with traditional methods, such as lithography and etching; as his style developed, he began experimenting with screenprints, undoubtedly inspired by Andy Warhol, who was one of Haring’s most important influences. As he progressed with screenprinting, Haring’s style developed from simple colours, like in Bayer Suite, to bolder, brighter and more sophisticated images like Apocalypse, made in collaboration with writer William Burroughs.
Pop Shop prints
Haring’s fascination with accessibility led him to open numerous ‘Pop Shops’, where people could buy his work for as little as 50 cents. His experimentation with printmaking allowed him to reproduce his paintings over and over again, making his Pop Shop sales viable. It was a way of subverting art market elitism.
“I could earn more money if I just painted a few things and jacked up the price. My shop is an extension of what I was doing in the subway stations, breaking down the barriers between high and low art,” said Haring. The Pop Shops were a way of “taking art off the pedestal. I’m giving it back to the people.”
Some of Haring’s most sought after series – including Stones, Icons, Retrospect and the Pop Shop sets – continue to fetch high prices due to their striking designs, iconic imagery and high quality. A full portfolio is normally valued higher while single prints from the set. A complete set of five prints of the Fertility Suite sold for £187,500 with fees at auction in September 2018, while a single print from the portfolio sold for £44,000 with fees in June 2021.
Keith Haring’s prints can sell for up to six-figure at auction; the most expensive, Andy Mouse, sold for €830,000 (£713,252) with fees at auction in June 2021. Andy Mouse is among Haring’s most popular prints with collectors, but other iconic motifs, such as Dog and the dancers in Retrospect, are also highly sought after.
Today, the prices that Haring’s work achieves at auction are a far cry from the 50 cent sales in his Pop Shops. His work is often collected for its social commentary, its connection to the issues of the time, and the revolutionary attitudes of Haring trying to subvert the art world.
As when buying any work of art, authenticity and provenance are key. Most editions by Haring are signed by the artist so this should be the first thing to look for. There are also many unsigned prints on the market but collectors should always ensure these are authenticated by the Keith Haring Foundation.
Provenance is essential – always make sure the print you are buying is accompanied by a certificate of authentication, gallery or auction receipt, or documents detailing previous owners. These paperworks are important for proving the print’s authenticity, and retaining its value.
You should make sure the Haring print you want to buy is in pristine condition: anything less will affect its value. If possible, ask to see the print unframed so you can check for signs of damage, like tears, stains or warping of the paper. MyArtBroker can advise on if the print should be brought to a restoration expert – contact us for more information.
Once you have bought your Haring print, you should protect it in a frame with UV-protective glass and hang it away from direct sunlight and moisture. If you decide not to display your print, keep it in a dark place away from sunlight. Lay it flat, not rolled, in order to maintain its condition and value.
Whether you are a seasoned collector or buying your first print, it is important to choose a trusted source. Galleries and auction houses are reputable options but their premiums are very high.
At MyArtBroker, our brokers offer the trust and confidence that comes with meeting with a specialist, as well as the ease and convenience of buying online; we can assist you with buying a Haring print from our international network of sellers, and also help with provenance, authenticity and checking the condition.
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