Wednesday, June 22, 2016

David LaChapelle Parts With Painting Created in Keith Haring's Final Days

By Sarah Cascone
Keith Haring, The Last Rainforest (1989)
Before his death at 31 years old, Keith Haring created The Last Rainforest. This month, Sotheby's London is offering the rare work on canvas from the collection of photographer David LaChapelle in its Contemporary Art Evening Auction on June 28th. It's estimated to sell for £2,000,000–3,000,000 ($2,900,000–4,340,000).  The Last Rainforest was painted during the last few months of Haring's life, before he died of AIDS in February 1990. "I just fell in love with the painting. I thought it was prophetic," he explained. "At first glance, the picture has this very hellish feel: it's very Hieronymous Bosch, Garden of Earthly Delights. You have these various layers, which give it depth," said LaChapelle. "This is one of the most complex paintings he ever painted." [link]

Keith Haring, The Last Rainforest (1989) being installed at Sotheby's London next to Andy Warhol, Four Marilynd (Reversal Series) 1979–86. Courtesy of Sotheby's London.
Keith Haring, The Last Rainforest (1989), detail showing inserted his signature crawling baby in the center of the work seated in the Buddhist Lotus position with rays coming out of his head. In other works, the baby is always crawling but this time it has reached his destination and is enlightened.