A ‘secret’ 85-ft-long mural by artist Keith Haring is headed to auction next month, where it’s expected to fetch upwards of $3m, after being carefully chiselled out of a New York stairwell.
Haring created the piece in 1983 for Grace House – an Upper West Side Catholic youth centre, housed in a former convent. He used black industrial house paint to decorate the concrete walls of the centre, beginning with his now-iconic Radiant Baby figure.
Auction house Bonhams, which is listing the mural, describes the piece as ‘perhaps the best-kept secret of the artist’s oeuvre’. Despite the closure of Grace House, Haring’s work has remained largely untouched and is one of a small number of preserved murals by the artist.
The piece, which goes on sale on 13 November, was carefully removed from the building over the course of the last two years, with each of the thirteen figures extracted separately.
Bonhams promises the piece can be easily re-assembled, but it will need a new owner with plenty of space to display it in its full length, as well as the original doors and mailbox which remain attached to the mural.