Keith Haring’s Fridge Door Is Up For Sale—And Its Artwork Beats Any Food It Kept

Image by Dutch National Archives via Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

They say never to judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to Keith Haring’s refrigerator, you’d care more about the door than its contents.

The fridge door, which will go up for auction by way of Guernsey’s on May 12, was lavishly graffitied and is believed to feature autographs by some famous names.

One of the inscriptions reads, “Madonna Loves Keith,” while the initials “JM” are signed below. The auction house’s president Arlan Ettinger told the New York Times that he believes the penmanship in the latter belonged to street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, though he could not confirm this when he got the signature verified.

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A post shared by Guernsey’s Auction House (@guernseysauction)

Ettinger said the door doubled up as Haring’s guest register, and that “it seemed like everybody who was anybody showed up there… [and] signed in on that refrigerator door.” It now displays some 80 inscriptions and tags.

The refrigerator resided in the late pop artist’s 325 Broome St. downtown apartment from the 1980s, and became in the possession of its current owner—a yoga instructor who wishes to maintain anonymity—when she moved in during the early 1990s. The fridge had actually been discarded during the moving process, but she quickly retrieved the object before the garbage crew could pick it up.

The fridge door is estimated to fetch a price range of US$75,000 to US$125,000. It will be auctioned off “without minimum reserve,” Ettinger told the New York Post, which means it will go to the highest bidder, no matter how much is being offered.

“It’s not beautiful, but it’s of that moment, of that time,” Ettinger reflected with the Times. “It reflects a certain spirit, a creativeness, that is alive today if you think about the people who were there — Madonna, and a long, long list of artists.”

[via The New York Times and New York Post, images via various sources]

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