RADIANT, BABY

Brooklyn Museum Gets Tagged For New Keith Haring Exhibit

Early works by iconic queer artist Keith Haring—including nascent radiant baby images—will be on view in “Keith Haring: 1978-1982,” opening at the Brooklyn Museum in April 2012.

Haring, who died of AIDS in 1990 at age 31, was a fixture of the New York art world who raised graffiti to an art form and collaborated with other notable “street” artists like Basquiat, Banksy, Kenny Scharf and Shepard Fairey. Making its way from Austria’s Kunsthalle Wien museum, the exhibit will include more than 150 rarely seen sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters, photos and subway drawings. Also on view will be  dozens of works on paper and various experimental videos—including “Haring Paints Himself Into a Corner,” in which the Pennsylviana-born artist strokes to the music of Devo.

Below is the video for Grace Jones’ “Perfect,” which includes an eye-opening Haring sequence and cameos from Haring’s 1980s art-world contemporaries. (It’s also just a kick-ass song.)

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9 Comments

  • Jeff in NYC

    Keith Haring is one of the main reasons I moved to NYC. The energy in his paintings has certainly informed my style, as well as have Warhol, Basquiat, and the (in)famous subway graf writers of the early 80’s. I met Keith when I was in high school when he was a visiting artist in Iowa. I’m glad to see he is starting to get real recognition, after being maligned for the last several years by some of the establishment. I guess people my age are finally becoming that establishment :)

  • CBRad

    @Jeff in NYC: All NYC is the “establishment” now.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Jeff in NYC: Really, maligned?

    Haring’s amazing works have been adopted throughout the world for his brilliant way of expressing life and love. His works have been featured greater than sized down Santa Monica Blvd., subject of documentaries, museum shows in NYC, Spain, Milan, Melbourne, and on. Apparently, per Guiness Book of World Records, the largest jigsaw puzzle is of Keith Haring’s works.

    As my HIV became AIDS in the mid 1990s, I found great solace in viewing Haring’s works in the many books about him and his work, seeing his Sesame Street contributions. I am delighted every time I come across an image of life by him.

  • Jeff in NYC

    @Mike in Asheville: I am only talking about the so-called ‘art establishment.’ The fact that Haring’s work is popular and populist makes some of the so-called highbrow cringe. I was talking to a gallery owner a few years ago and mentioned something about Haring, and he said to me “If you want to be taken seriously as an artist, you must disassociate yourself from Keith Haring. He is simply a cartoonist.” Needless to say, I never took that gallerist seriously again. I think Keith’s work speaks to the hope we all still feel somewhere inside.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Jeff in NYC: Not really interested in a debate on this — we both love the work of Haring and that is what is important.

    I guess — whether its racial, social, sexual or religious — I don’t like blanket labels. Fortunately, one gallery owner does not an establishment make. Many more in the art community adore and admire Haring and understand the originality of his genius. A quick check of the Haring Foundation website lists the 2 dozen public displays and an active calendar of shows, around the world, for the next 2 years.

  • Jeff in NYC

    @Mike in Asheville: That was but one example. Many other countries love Keith and have been giving his work the respect it deserves. Just nice to see the US finally catching up. Good luck, and take care. I am finished with Queerty.

  • CBRad

    You guys are sort of arguing about whether the art world, etc., respected Haring or not, but what’s important here is that both of you yourselves really like his work!

  • James in amusement

    Cool argument bro(s).

    One step above a youtube video commentary fight.

    lolz.

  • man on the street

    JAKE WEINRAUB , Keith Haring never collaborated with Banksy or Shepard Fairey… Haring had already past away before they started their street art careers… next time get your facts straight.

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