‘Pixel Pioneer’: Christie’s to Auction Keith Haring Digital Art as NFTs

Christie’s, the renowned auction house, announces the auctioning of digital artwork created by renowned artist Keith Haring as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Titled ‘Pixel Pioneer’, this groundbreaking auction offers art enthusiasts and collectors the opportunity to own exclusive digital pieces from the iconic artist. With the growing popularity of NFTs, the auction aims to captivate a wider audience and redefine the way art is valued and consumed in the digital age. Don’t miss this chance to be part of art history and acquire one-of-a-kind digital art by Keith Haring at Christie’s ‘Pixel Pioneer’ auction.

Keith Haring: Pixel Pioneer – Exploring the Intersection of Art and Technology

Keith Haring, a renowned artist known for his influential pop art and social activism in the 1980s, continues to captivate audiences today. His iconic work has stood the test of time, and now, a selection of his digital drawings created in 1987 will be sold as Ethereum NFTs through auction house Christie’s.

The online auction, titled “Keith Haring: Pixel Pioneer,” will feature five digital works originally created by Haring on a Commodore Amiga computer. The late psychologist and author Timothy Leary gifted Haring the device, as revealed by Gil Vazquez, the Executive Director and President of the Keith Haring Foundation. Previously, these drawings were only viewable on floppy discs, but they have now been minted by the Foundation for this sale.

The value of each piece in the auction is estimated to range from $220,000 to $500,000. To provide art enthusiasts with an opportunity to experience these digital works firsthand, they will be exhibited in Seoul, Korea from September 7-8 and later at Christie’s New York from September 14-19. The collaboration between the Foundation, technical partner Digital Practice, and licensing agency Artestar has made the minting process possible.

Haring’s signature style was characterized by the repetition of figurative shapes in vibrant colors, outlined in black. He bridged the gap between popular culture and street art, challenging the norms of the traditional gallery establishment. Despite his untimely death in 1990 at the age of 31 due to AIDS-related complications, Haring continued to leave his mark through his subway chalk drawings and numerous murals.

According to Vazquez, Haring’s experiments with digital art align perfectly with his belief that “art is for everybody.” He utilized non-traditional mediums such as murals, found objects, and digital art to communicate his ideas to a wider audience, including those who may not typically engage with gallery and museum art.

Today, Haring’s work can be found in esteemed institutions like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Nicole Sales Giles, Christie’s Vice President and Director of Digital Art Sales, emphasizes that Haring’s ability to bring art to the masses made him a pioneer of his era. She also highlights that the boundaries between Web3’s creative world and the traditional art world are gradually fading away, as demonstrated by the inclusion of NFTs in major institutions like Crystal Bridges and LACMA.

The “Keith Haring: Pixel Pioneer” auction represents Haring’s early adoption of the emerging digital age. In his artwork from April 1984, he even included a rendering of the first Apple Macintosh computer. The sale of this physical work at Christie’s in 2021 marked the first instance of a major auction house offering the option to pay in cryptocurrency.

Haring’s connection to the digital art world started in March last year when the Haring Foundation collaborated with MAC Cosmetics and ConsenSys to create a collection of 5,275 NFTs. This initiative animated Haring’s famous artworks onto MAC’s Viva Glam lipstick, raising funds for charity and promoting National Youth AIDS Awareness Day. Through these endeavors, Haring’s early support for digital art paves the way for continued growth and expansion in the collector base for this category.

While there may currently be a divide between the traditional art world and the Web3 art world, Vazquez believes this gap is temporary. He acknowledges that acceptance of new developments takes time but is ultimately inevitable, drawing a parallel between the suspicions faced by Haring during his lifetime and the skepticism encountered by digital artists in the present day.

The “Keith Haring: Pixel Pioneer” auction not only celebrates Haring’s enduring legacy but also shines a light on the intersection of art and technology. It invites both traditional art enthusiasts and Web3 advocates to appreciate and embrace the digitization of art in a rapidly evolving landscape. With every sale and exhibition, Haring’s art continues to transcend boundaries and bring people together, just as he did during his time.

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