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The Keith Haring work that Anatole Shagalov failed to pay for was not simply any other lot offered in an Evening sale. When it sold in May 2017, the work set a record price for Haring, an artist whose market has been long-anticipated to take off. The 1982 painted tarpaulin measuring nearly 10 feet square was a solid candidate to reset the Haring market.
It almost doesn't need to be said. But the art market takes its pricing cues from prominent public sales. When the untitled tarp made $6.5m at auction, it should have recalibrated expectations for potential buyers in the public and private markets. It would also have sent signals to owners of Haring's work who might want to offer their works for sale.
Following on that point, it is important to remember that the public records of the sale remain in place despite Shagalov's failure to pay. Thus the market has a false narrative of demand for Haring's work and the prices collectors are willing to pay. Now that we know more about the fate of this sale and the value of its resale, let's take a look at Haring's market over the last several years.
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