LAMBERTVILLE, NJ .-
A singular Keith Haring drawing from the artists childhood home will be among the headlining lots of Rago/Wrights fall Post War & Contemporary Art auction on September 14th. Never-before available or offered on the market, this signature Radiant Baby was drawn by Haring directly onto the blue wall of his bedroom in the Harings Kutztown, PA, home.
The Victorian houses current owners, Angela and Scott Garner, purchased the property in 2004 and recall that the seller was considering painting over the five-inch drawing. The Garners, however, cherished the trace of the artist and, after preserving and living with the drawing for nearly two decades, they have now allowed the portion of the wall that includes the drawing and the light switch directly below it to be extracted.
The piece is amazing because its on the wall of [Harings] bedroom where he grew up, says Dr. Christine Isabelle Oaklander, an art historian who is assisting the Garners in bringing the work to auction. She adds, Its really a tag [saying] that this is Keith Harings room
Theres literally nothing else like this.
After graduating from high school (incidentally located directly across from Harings family home) in 1976, the young Haring left the Pennsylvania town and began his meteoric ascent to becoming a beloved legend of both Pop art and progressive social activism. Haring remained close with his family, however, and would return to visit them; it was most likely during one of these visits that Haring drew this Radiant Baby in blue and gold a particularly rare color combination for Haring. Harings father, Allen Haring, confirmed the authenticity of the drawing and his signed letter of authenticity will accompany the work upon sale.
Radiant Baby will be accompanied by significant works and historic objects also recovered by the Garners from Harings bedroom: two Haring posters, found in the bedroom closet, that the artist made for the benefit events Long Island Focus on Art, 1988, and City Kids Speak on Liberty, 1986, as well as a cubbyhole unit built by Allen Haring for the four Haring children, Keith, Kay, Karen, and Kristen.
A short video
directed by Brandon Wunder/(in)sight Film Series offers additional insight into the drawings origins and the Garners relationship to the work, featuring interviews with the Garner family supplemented by remarks from art historian Dr. Christine Isabelle Oaklander and Kutztown Historical Society archivist Brendan D. Strasser.
"Were proud to represent such a unique and intimate piece of the artists history," says Meredith Hilferty, Rago/Wright Director of Fine Art, particularly one that very easily could have been lost and forgotten."