Keith Haring: Off the Wall; Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf On the Walls

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring was both an artist and activist. He paved the way, in the 1980s, for street artists to gain acceptance in fine art galleries and museums.

The world was Haring’s canvas. He drew and painted on subway stations, billboards and walls…walls of homes, offices, schools. Haring’s goal was to make art accessible. And that he did.

In 1981, Haring was invited to speak at Bard College about the ethics of graffiti. He had a Magic Marker, of course, and drew five of his instantly recognizable Radiant Baby images on one of the walls of the college.

An art history professor at Bard cut the drawing out of the wall and kept it in his office. It remained in the professor’s office for more than forty years. The professor is about to retire and, thanks to a grant from the Keith Haring Foundation, the drawing is going to be permanently installed in the Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies.

Another Radiant Baby drawing, found in Haring’s childhood home in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, was recently auctioned at Rago/Wright’s auction house in New Jersey.

Haring drew the Radiant Baby, with a gold marker, above a light switch in his bedroom. Art historian, Christine Isabelle Oaklander, helped the home’s current owners get the drawing to auction. She said that Haring probably drew the work on one of the many visits he made to see his family before his death in 1990.

The drawing was estimated to go for $30,000 to $50,000. It sold for $143,750.

Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf Paint the Walls of  Midtown St. Louis

The Kranzberg Arts Foundation commissioned twenty artists to create large murals on the walls of a neighborhood is Midtown St. Louis. The Foundation hopes that the art will lighten the mood of the neighborhood and encourage more visitors to the area.

Brooklyn-based artist Derrick Adams, Chicago-based artist Carlos Rolón and Los Angeles-based artist Kenny Scharf and  as well as local artists, created brightly colored  murals that are just the beginning of the project.

The Foundation hopes to cover a four-block stretch of the area, in an effort to increase foot traffic.  The area is home to several cultural organizations and the Kranzberg’s High Low gallery and coffee shop.

The initial part of the project is complete and the murals are fabulous.

Thanks to Keith Haring for making Street Art a welcomed and accepted art form around the world.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring, Derrick Adams, Carlos Rolón and Kenny Scharf available at VFA.

Alex Greenberger. Bard College to Reinstall Keith Haring Wall Work That Sat for Years in Professor’s Office. ArtNews. September 21, 2022.
Angelica Villa. Keith Haring ‘Radiant Baby’ Wall Drawing to Be Auctioned. ArtNews. August 23, 2022.
Jeremy D. Goodwin. Kranzberg has 20 artists transform Washington Avenue with murals. NPR/St. Louis Public Radio. September 20, 2022.

The Work of Derrick Adams and other Featured Artists

Don’t Touch My Derrick Adams

In one of the episodes of the TV series Empire, Cookie, the tough family matriarch, tells two men who are moving a painting, “Don’t you touch my Derrick Adams.”

Adams, the Brooklyn-based, Baltimore born artist was commissioned to create a portrait, that features prominently, for the show.

A still from Beyoncé’s film Black is King, 2020.

Adams’ work looks at personal and political aspects of Black culture in America. His work now appears in Beyoncé’s latest film, Black is King.

Derrick Adams
Style Variation 10, 2019
Featured in Beyoncé’s film Black is King.

Available at VFA is Adams’ Self Portrait on Float, part of his Floaters series that depicts joyful scenes of African Americans at play. “Sometimes a normal social gathering can represent a radical space.” Adams said. “I’m often inspired by the people around me at parties, and how they are making important changes to society. You can go to a social event and still get things accomplished.”

Works from the Floaters series are part of an exhibit called Derrick Adams: Buoyant, currently on display at the Hudson River Museum. The show will run through October 18, 2020.

Also featured in Beyoncé’s film is work by New York-based, Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone.

The works of Derrick Adams and Ugo Rondinone are both featured at VFA.

Sculpture Milwaukee Features Work by Alex Katz, Julian Opie and more of our Featured Artists

Sculpture Milwaukee is an annual event that can be viewed safely…both in person and virtually…now and into the winter months.

Workers in Milwaukee installing Jim Dine’s 2019 sculpture, Jim’s Head with Branches.

The downtown exhibit includes works by some of our favorite artists, including Jim Dine, Alex Katz, Julian Opie and Carlos Rolón.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of featured artists for sale at VFA.

Alex Greenberger. The Art of ‘Black Is King’: Beyoncé’s New Visual Album Involves Today’s Best Artists and Curators. ARTnews. August 3, 2020.
artnetnews. Art Industry News: A Guide to the Many Art-Historical References in Beyoncé’s New Album ‘Black Is King’ + Other Stories. August 3, 2020.
Maleke Glee. Here are the Black Artists in Beyonce’s Black is King. Sugarcane Magazine. August 1, 2020.

Congratulations, Carlos Rolón

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As long time fans and supporters of the work of Carlos Rolón, we would like to congratulate Carlos on the global recognition that he has been receiving and the success of his recent exhibits. As a first generation American, born and raised in Chicago, the culture of his Puerto Rican parents has infused his life and his work. Rolón is brilliant at creating work that captures both his cultural experience and its historical significance with a sensibility that speaks to a global audience.

Carlos Rolón: Buscando América

His current solo exhibit, Buscando América (Searching for America), at the Library Street Collective in Detroit, showcases Rolón’s ability to blend and examine his American culture and Puerto Rican heritage. A wall of boom boxes, collected by Rolón and one of his oldest friends, is displayed opposite Boom Box Edition, one of a series of 24-karat gold leafed boom boxes that Rolón created this year. Rolón’s childhood home was filled with ornate works and he was raised in the boom box-era, but the gold is much more than just a nostalgic touch. It is a statement about the history of Puerto Rico and the role that the search for gold played in that history.

After Christopher Columbus claimed Puerto Rico (meaning Rich Port) for Spain in 1493, he noticed that the people of the island adorned their clothing with pieces of gold that they found in streams and riverbeds. Queen Isabella gave Ponce de Leon permission to go to Puerto Rico and explore the island.

In 1508, Ponce de Leon began to mine gold. Uprisings by local inhabitants were dealt with harshly, sometimes by forcing them to work in the mines. It is estimated that in the first few decades of Puerto Rico’s occupation by the Spanish, the gold produced was valued at over $4 million in Spanish currency. By about 1530 the gold deposits were beginning to become exhausted.

Much of Rolón’s work, like Bahamian Love Vine VI (Spanish Gold), available at VFA, alludes to this era in Puerto Rico’s history. The gold mining necessitated the destruction of flora in many areas of the island. The work is both nostalgic and ironic. Rolón mourns the destruction caused by the quest for gold and uses gold to evoke and capture childhood memories.

His bicycle sculpture, The Majestics (For Louise), now in the Buscando América exhibit,was recently displayed at NYCxDESIGN, New York City’s annual celebration of design, to highlight bike riding as a sustainable means of transportation the is re-shaping cities. Further details about Buscando América can be found at:  The show will run through June 2.

Carlos Rolón’s Global Recognition

Though Rolón’s work reflects his unique Puerto Rican heritage, its appeal is universal and can be found in the permanent collections of such distinguished venues as the Museum Het Domein in The Netherlands, the  Deagu Art Museum in Korea, the Brooklyn Museum, the City of Chicago Public Art Collection, the Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico and the Bass Museum in Miami.

Carlos Rolón at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about Bahamian Love Vine VI (Spanish Gold) or any of the other fine art work available at VFA.

See More Carlos Rolón Artwork for Sale

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