There’s a Keith Haring show opening tonight. They used to be quite the event, back in the day. Keith would usually print thousands of posters to give away free and sign (I have few signed ones, still in my flat files.) This exhibit at Gladstone Gallery includes canvases and tarps painted in the 1980s. Keith created many works that initially appear to be celebratory and playful, but he was a politically active and socially conscious, interested in being involved in the cultural climate that lived in. His works explore themes of sexuality, technology, AIDS, and capitalist greed. This yellow, red and black piece shown here, shows his classic, simply outlined human figures; but unlike many of his other works in which the figures are dancing and bursting with energy, here they lie piled atop one another, with symbolic black x’s over their faces, a haunting representation of the toll taken by the AIDS virus which eventually killed him. (Tomorrow would have been his 56th birthday.)
He’s never been more widely recognized or “collaborated” with. Take these pieces on Paddle 8 done by his frequent collaborator LA II with Brian Boulos or the shirts, bag and scarves by Uniqlo, which you can get online. If you’re in New York, the opening is at Barbara Gladstone, 515 W 24th St, from 5-7 PM and runs through June 14.