I first became aware of KEITH HARING’s art during the 90’s. All I know of him then were his iconic figures like this dog on my red shirt that I got from a thrift store. Then I found out that he was a friend of Madonna and that he died of AIDS. Later on I discovered that he also hung out and collaborated with Warhol and Basquiat, other artists that I also like and well, who also had untimely deaths.
I finally got to see Haring’s iconic images beyond my red shirt, and now up close at Musee d’art moderne in Paris, where they had a retrospective of his works.
His art for me was very accessible but of course there’s more to it than just doodles. His art speaks of social justice, freedom and change.
I love how he uses his symbolic and graphic style in conveying his message.
It looks playful and childlike but the issue tackled is very much strong.
The repetitive style of his wasn’t at all tiring.
It was interesting to see how his canvas and medium changes,
from the use of traditional canvas to tarpaulins to sculptures to subway posters and even a dollar bill.
Through this retrospective exhibition, I was able to get to know him more.
To me now, he’s more than the red shirt, the friend of Madonna and the AIDS that he died of,
Keith Haring is really so much more.
Keith Haring: A Political Line
Musee d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris
Images shot by JK