As intriguing as whether a 7-foot painting is a Keith Haring original is the story behind it's sale tonight.
The Associated Press reports that the work in title "Hope," in the style of the late pop artist, goes on sale on eBay Friday night. Opening bid: 99 cents.
The seller is a Pennsylvania man, Ed Oswald, who believes the painting to be an original Haring. But his cousin, Kermit Oswald, one of the world's leading authorities on Haring's work, says it's a knockoff.
Ed Oswald (picture below, AP) has maintained that "Hope" is an authentic Haring, and said Kermit Oswald is biased because the two had a falling-out years ago. Kermit Oswald said the only thing influencing his judgment is his decades of professional experience.
"The fact is these people were trying to sell something that was absolutely worthless," Kermit said.
As a result, the eBay listing does not claim "Hope" is the genuine article. Instead, the description says buyers are bidding on "an original painting ... from the 1980s in a remarkable likeness and style of a Keith Haring, with a very interesting story & provenance."
Haring grew up in Kutztown in Pennsylvania Dutch country. The Andy Warhol Museum exhibits works by Haring, and he mounted shows worldwide before his 1990 death from AIDS at age 31.