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Monday, January 21, 2008

A forgotten Keith Haring discovered in Tribeca condo

tribecaThis is a video report by Bradley Hope at The Sun about a lost work by Keith Haring which was recently uncovered during the redevelopment of a loft at The American Thread Building in my neighborhood of Tribeca. The space was formerly an exhibition space in the old days when Tribeca was an artist's neighborhood and you might find Haring at the Mudd Club on White Street a few blocks away. The work is similar to the painted patterns that he did on the walls, floors, and ceilings at the Pop Shop and the 23rd Street gallery at the School of Visual Arts, where he and I crossed paths in 1979, just before his rise on the 1980's art scene. I remember him taping similar drawings on the underside of the cover mats of copiers in the cafeteria at SVA one day, so that students would get a free little bit of art on the edges of their copies. Much of the work from this period like his famous subway drawings, were experimental, effusive and temporary in nature, a good deal has been painted over and lost. Keith Haring died in 1990 at the age of 31, of complications related to AIDS. His work is iconic of the 1980's New York Art scene and continues to inspire new generations.

I'd shown this space when it was on the market a couple of years ago. It was a huge, dramatic, but very clunky commercial space, which required a bit of vision on behalf of a purchaser and their architect to mold into a residence. There was no sign of Keith's work visible at the time. It was on the market then at about $4 million and in need of a complete gut renovation. Including the Haring mural, the renovated space is now being offered at just under $17 million. Since the art can't be moved, I certainly hope that whoever acquires it, will appreciate and preserve the work that accidentally graces their new home.