STEPHEN SPROUSE | CRUCIFIXION
THIS LOT IS BEING OFFERED AT NO RESERVE
Dear Keith: Works from the Personal Collection of Keith Haring
1953 - 2004
signed, dated 89 and inscribed Happy B-day Keith on the overlap
acrylic on canvas
10 by 10 in. (25.4 by 25.4 cm.)
This work is in very good condition overall. There are textural variations to the surface of the work, inherent to the artist's working method and chosen media. There are a few pinpoint losses to the pigment and some very minor stable cracking along the lower left extreme edge, visible upon close inspection. Under ultraviolet light, there is no evidence of restoration. Unframed.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Estate of Keith Haring, New York (gift of the artist in 1989)
The Keith Haring Foundation (by bequest from the above in 1990)
Stephen Sprouse, perhaps best known as the precocious fashion designer who created the infamous Louis Vuitton graffiti logo bags with Marc Jacobs in 2000, is often referenced as one of the most influential and distinctive fashion visionaries of the 1980s. Sprouse’s “punk couture” shows bridged an unspoken gulf between New York’s uptown sophistication and downtown pop scene. While starting his career in fashion as a sketch artist in Halston’s studio, Sprouse met Andy Warhol and started experimenting with alternative media, including silkscreen, photography and collage. He received his first wave of attention in 1978 for designing the dress Debbie Harry wears in the music video for "Heart of Glass", which featured a photoprint of television static. In the late 70s and early 80s, Sprouse worked mainly as a visual artist, and soon became a fixture among the Club 57 scene.
Through Warhol, Sprouse became friends with Haring: "When I got to know Andy more, I got to know Keith more," he recalls. "I also collaborated with Keith. I got these images from the Bible, I painted them, then he put acetates over and did his thing, then we'd blow them up and silkscreen them on fabric” (the artist quoted in Charlie Porter, “American graffiti,” The Guardian, 8 September 2001, p. 57). This collaboration became the basis for Sprouse’s Fall 1988 “Signature” collection, featuring abstract graffiti prints of Jesus and Haring’s famous “squibbles” splashed across luxurious clothes of green velvet. Upon his death in 1987, Warhol was buried in a Stephen Sprouse suit.
The present work, Crucifixion, is palpably inspired by Sprouse’s relationship with Warhol, and that artist’s famed use of the silkscreen. Its image of Iggy Pop on the cross is reminiscent of the prints on which Sprouse and Haring collaborated, and became something of a trademark for Sprouse, appearing on large scale canvases, posters, and book covers. Small scale versions like the present example were most often given to Sprouse’s friends and collaborators as personal gifts.