One of my all-time favourite artists is Keith Haring – his life was cut short at 32 by AIDS. His was a very brief career – and that has been celebrated with an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum.
I went a few days ago. It’s a 30 minute subway ride from Manhattan (take note Nottingham Tram people – is $2.25 – £1.39). It’s a monster of a building – over half a million square feet. They have a wide range of exhibits ranging from Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, and represent a wide range of cultures. Some of the stuff is really old – 3,000BC! Not altogether my cup of tea, but fascinating.
This is the first time a major exhibition has been shown of Haring’s work. There were 155 ‘pieces’ on show.
It’s a fantastic collection. It chronicles his arrival in New York with a mixture of photographs, paintings, sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers, posters and chalked subway drawings. There are some interesting videos of him working at the New York School of Art – it’s incredible to see the speed at which he painted in his highly stylised way.
My favourite piece was a 6ft high 49 foot long single painting which contains may of his signatory icons – the baby being seen several times. I think his work is brilliant, it’s a little ‘daring’ in part – this isn’t an exhibition for young kids! I love the simplicity of the art – it is almost cartoon like. The later more perfected style I prefer to the slightly messier earlier work.
I think we should get it at the Nottingham Contemporary next!
Oh, and I bought the T-shirt – partly because at that point Mr Branson and the blind man hadn’t returned my bag!