Keith Haring: 20th Anniversary at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery CLOSES SATURDAY APRIL 3
There was no more iconic New York City artist in the 1980s than Keith Haring, whose bold, rapidly-created chalk drawings and street paintings could be seen everywhere, all over town… and then, little by little, in art galleries… and then, eventually, thanks to Keith Haring's belief that art should be available to everyone, on t-shirts, bags, baby bibs, furniture, watches, and just about anything you can think of, really. Because while Keith Haring always went after life's biggest subjects in his work, exploring and exposing nothing less than humanity's relationship with "birth, death, love, sex and war", his deceptively cartoonish images of barking dogs and three-eyed men and spaceships and breakdancers and pulsating hearts never failed to make us happy and, seemingly, the same was true for just about everyone else in the city, and on the planet.
For over a month now, Tony Shafrazi Gallery in Chelsea has been honoring Keith Haring with a glorious celebration of his contributions to New York and the larger art world on this, the 20th anniversary of Keith Haring's death, at the age of 31, from AIDS-related complications. It is a horrible thing to lose someone so young, and we can only imagine what he would have given us these past two decades had he lived. But as the Tony Shafrazi Gallery show makes clear, Keith Haring was an unbelievably creative and prolific artist, who left a body of work that will continue to inspire, amuse and delight for decades to come.
The Keith Haring 20th Anniversary exhibition at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery features more than 50 paintings, drawings (including some terrific original chalk subway pieces), and sculptures, all, of course, exuberant, busy, bright, and alive. As you can tell from the images here, Keith Haring's greatest hits are all present and accounted for. True, it's nothing we haven't seen before, but still it was great to have all of these pieces together again in one place. Mid-'80s hip hop blasts away in one of the galleries (albeit from an iPod, rather a proper cassette-driven boombox), adding to the sense of New York City nostalgia. And there were plenty of parents at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery exhibition, showing Keith Haring to their children, probably for the first time, and it was so great to see their big smiles, and the light in these kids' eyes, taking it all in.
Keith Haring: 20th Anniversary Exhibition at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery Details
The Keith Haring 20th Anniversary show is going on now until this coming Saturday, April 3, at Tony Shafrazi Gallery. The gallery is located at 544 West 26th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues, and is open every Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. For more pictures of the exhibition, see the Tony Shafrazi Gallery website. For more information and classic images on the life and work of the artist, please visit Keith Hardings websiste.
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