Current day San Francisco seems to be housing a creative rush, more than ever. Not just the land for apps, but a hotbed for true artist types, who are re-emerging as part of the Bay Area's 2.0 tech-renaissance movement. It's simultaneously wonderful and ironic to see Keith Haring's work displayed in a museum. In his lifetime, Haring never had the privilege to experience his work being glorified by the art-business communities. So kudos to the de Young! Thankfully, he embedded his essence, for eternity, through highly social-political creations.
During a brief but intense career that spanned the 1980s, graffiti artist Keith Haring's work was featured in over 100 solo and group exhibitions. In 1986, he was the subject of more than 40 newspaper and magazine articles. Under the radar in NYC's downtown scene, he was highly hunted to participate in special projects. He collaborated collaborated with Madonna, Grace Jones, Andy Warhol-to name just a few. Through the ubiquitous concepts of birth, death, love, sex and war-Haring was able to conjure a visual language of human obscurity accompanied by illumination, which still resonates to this day. Keith Haring died of AIDS related complications at the age of 31 on February 16, 1990. However, his spirit lives on, through his works, while continuing to be a revelation for many generations!
That being said, Haring's work has long been a part of San Francisco's ocular culture. He created works for diverse venues in San Francisco during his lifetime, including murals for DV8, a club once located in the South of Market neighborhood, and a huge, multi-panel painting for the South of Market Childcare Center (also known as the Saint Patrick's Daycare Center). Haring's outdoor sculpture Untitled (Three Dancing Figures) (1989), located at Third and Howard Streets, is a prominent feature of Moscone Convention Center, and his triptych altarpiece The Life of Christ (1990) is installed in the AIDS Chapel at Grace Cathedral.
This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Director's Circle: Penny and James George Coulter. Curator's Circle: Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund. Conservator's Circle: The Buena Vista Fund of Horizons Foundation. Patron's Circle: The Keith Haring Foundation.
Keith Haring: The Political Line is on view at the de Young through February 16, 2015.