Keith Haring illustrated these images on an 80s Amiga computer

A new Christie’s auction has brought to light five digital artworks Keith Haring created in 1987 on a Commodore Amiga computer. With Pixel Pioneer, Christie’s will sell these artworks as NFTs.

But, where did these drawings come from? They were once only viewable on floppy disks, before the Keith Haring Foundation moved to mint the collection. The Amiga used to create the artworks was gifted to Haring by his close friend, the psychologist Timothy Leary in the mid-80s – you might know of Leary from his ample work advocating psychedelic drugs. Leary also gave an Amiga to other artists like Andy Warhol, who came up with pixelated artworks depicting subjects like a banana and a big red flower, also minted by Christie’s in 2021.

In a recent feature, Christie’s cites both Warhol and Haring’s interest in digital art beginning at a party for John Lennon’s son in 1984. Steve Jobs was also in attendance (if you can imagine such a guest list) and bought a Macintosh computer along. Warhol had previously shown little interest in owning a Macintosh, but started to play around on the discontinued vector tool MacDraw after a tutorial from Jobs – you can read more about that incredible story here. Both artists would return to the computer at various points throughout their careers.

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