Keith Haring in his Pop Shop. More on the history of this bygone space can be found at pop-shop.com.
In the 1980s, street and mural artist Keith Haring became well known for his brightly colored graphic artwork, and his style became synonymous with late 20th century interplay of pop art and social activism. While his shapes and figures possessed cartoonish lines and motions, the subject matter was often explicit, taking on sexual politics, street life and the gritty New York Cityculture of the era.
Haring’s (1958-1990) tragically short–yet illustrious–career included an exploration of printmaking that reflected the fervor and curiosity with which he approached art, and life in general. He experimented with nearly every form of printmaking, but is most well known for his boldly lined, often garishly colored silkscreen prints.
Pop Shop III, a set of four color screenprints from 1989, sold at Swann in November 2010 for $19,200.
While tackling various social issues of his time, Haring was dedicated to the idea of making art accessible to the masses. In 1986, he opened what he called a Pop Shop in a retail space in downtown New York, which sold various consumer items emblazoned with his iconographies. He wished to create a space where anyone could go to experience his art (the walls were covered in black and white murals done by the artist). The shop remained open for nearly 20 years, finally shutting its doors in 2005.
Haring produced a series of screenprints, mostly in sets of four, in the years following the opening of the Pop Shop. This series captured many of his iconic symbols and imagery, which are scarcely seen together in their original sets. The exceptional Pop Shop IV, a complete set of four color screenprints from the iconic Pop Shop series, will be coming to auction at Swann on May 12.