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.

Takashi Murakami into the Metaverse; Keith Haring’s Works in Fort Lauderdale

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Takashi Murakami

The Broad Museum in Los Angeles is presenting its first solo exhibit of the works of Takashi Murakami. The show includes paintings, sculptures, wallpaper and installations. Highlights of the show are two gigantic paintings that were completed after the 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan. 100 Arhats, done in 2013, is 32 feet wide. In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, done in 2014, and after which the exhibit is named, is 82 feet wide.

Both works are based on Japanese and Chinese history and legend.

In a New York Times interview, Murakami explained why much of his work is bright and joyful. “I create such positive images driven by my desire to dispel my unease,” he said. “Watching the developments of the Covid situation and the war in Ukraine, I grow increasingly uneasy. And I produce more work.”

Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow will be on exhibit at The Broad from May 21 through September 25, 2022.

Murakami was born in Tokyo in 1962. He received his PhD from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1993. He  planned to focus on animation, but instead majored in Nihonga, a traditional style of Japanese painting. His Superflat style is a combination of both fine art and commercial art.

“Japanese culture originally came from the Eurasian continent,” he said “and my concept has been to go beyond from there into the metaverse, shooting through the history of art with a single arrow.”

Murakami is entering the metaverse with an NFT project. The project hasn’t been completed, but already has Murakami fans placing orderers way in advance.

Keith Haring

When Keith Haring was 19, studying commercial art in the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh, he saw an exhibit of the works of Pierre Alechinsky. The free-flowing works of the avant-garde artist inspired Haring to use the bright colors and bold lines that became unique to his art.

Alechinsky is 95, living and working in Paris. He and Haring met in 1984 in Alechinsky’s Paris studio.

The Keith Haring Foundation asked Alechinsky to write about his relationship with the young artist for the show of their works at the NSU Museum:

“We are in 2022.” wrote Alechinsky,  “I am ninety-five years old. My old brain tells me that it has just found a scrap of memory. On the port side: we recognize K.H. in P.A.’s workshop in Bougival in 1984. He offers a t-shirt decorated with his hand. To starboard: we see P.A. dedicating to K.H. a Chinese ink work on writings from another era.”

Haring often acknowledged Alechinsky’s influence on his work. When the Whitney Museum held a retrospective of Haring’s work in 1997, Alechinsky was asked to loan the museum a painting for the exhibit.

The works of both artists are currently on display at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale. Confrontation: Keith Haring and Pierre Alechinsky is on exhibit through October 2, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Takashi Murakami and Keith Haring available at VFA.

Eilene Zimmerman. Dragons, Saints and a Sexy Nurse: The Art of Takashi Murakami. The New York Times/Art & Design. April 27, 2022.
Ola. Takashi Murakami Exhibition At Gagosian Bridging Virtual x Real Worlds. NFT News. April 19, 2022.
Jacob Richardson. Going Digital: Hublot and Legendary Artist Takashi Murakami Announce NFT Launch. Haute Living. April 5, 2022.
John Thomason. Keith Haring, Under the Influence, at NSU Art Museum. Boca Magazine. April 15, 2022.
Kutztown University. Schwank, Kutztown University Announce Funding for Keith Haring Fitness Park. April 25, 2022.

Alex Katz Mural in Texas, Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide

Alex Katz 1927 –

A 35,000 square-foot, hand-painted mural by Alex Katz, was unveiled in Woodlands, Texas, a planned community just north of Houston. The mural was commissioned by the Howard Hughes Corporation to enhance the public plaza at the Woodlands Town Center.

A retrospective of Katz’s work, which will celebrate the artist’s more than seven-decade career, is scheduled to be held at the Guggenheim, New York from October 2022 through  February 2023. Katz currently has a solo exhibition in Brussels, and upcoming exhibits in London, Trento, Madrid, Austria, the Netherlands, Chicago and Maine.

Kenny Scharf 1958 –

In the summer of 2021, director Maria Scharf, released her film Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide. The documentary is a warm and loving look at the career of the father Kenny, one of America’s most unique artists.

Kenny Scharf was born and raised in Los Angeles. He was heavily influenced by the cartoons, Pop culture and the Cold War anxiety of the 1960s.

He moved to New York and obtained a BFA in painting from the School of Visual Arts in 1980. Scharf’s roommate was Keith Haring. Joined by Jean-Michel Basquiat and other young graffiti artists, they had a group show at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1983 that was panned by critics. New York Times art critic, Grace Glueck, called the show, “unsettling.” “Apart from its illegality,” she wrote, “the very idea of enshrining graffiti – an art of the streets impulsive and spontaneous by nature – in the traditional, time-honored medium of canvas, is ridiculous.”

The artists persisted, and Scharf pushed back. He encouraged his fellow artists to study art history and get a sense of how to thrive in the world of museums and galleries.

Scharf went on to have successful gallery shows during the 1980s and, in 1985, his work was selected for the Whitney Museum’s Biennial. He received raved reviews, with one critic saying that his work, “leaves you with hope, joy, play and optimism, and a sense of love….”

The optimism of his works was offset by the loss of Keith Haring to AIDS and Jean-Michel Basquiat to a drug overdose.

He traveled and worked in both New York and LA for a while, and finally settled in California. He lives in Culver City, close to his grandchildren and to his friend, artist Ed Ruscha, who took part in the film.

Scharf’s works are as optimistic and as much fun as they have ever been. He has collaborated with Dior and other fashion houses and even created signature masks during the pandemic.

An exhibit of the works of Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat is current on display at the Opera Gallery in Hong Kong.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Alex Katz, Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ed Ruscha or any of the other fine artwork available at VFA.

Jennifer Bruse. Community celebrates new Art Mural by Artist Alex Katz in The Woodlands Waterway Square. Hello Woodlands. April 11, 2002.
Lorrie Parise. Community Invited To Free Celebration of New Mural, Flowers, By Renowned Contemporary Artist, Alex Katz. Woodlands Online. March 31, 2022.
Andy Battaglia. Guggenheim Museum to Mount Retrospective for Alex Katz, New York Painter Extraordinaire, in 2022. Artnews. January 17, 2020.
Time Out Magazine. Basquiat, Haring, Scharf at Opera Gallery Hong Kong. April 8, 2022.
Robert Abele. Review: ‘Kenny Scharf: When Worlds Collide’ reveals the triumph of a committed artist. The Los Angeles Times. June 24, 2021.

VIPs at LA Frieze and more…

VIPs at LA Frieze

This year’s LA Frieze art fair opened with a special V.I.P Day, attended by such celebrities as Leonardo DiCaprio, James Corden, Will Ferrell, Gwyneth Paltrow, Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan.

Highlights of the fair were works by Kenny Scharf, Jonas Wood, Andy Warhol, Alex Katz and Jonas Wood, some of our favorite artists at VFA.

Michael Craig-Martin 1941 –

The Blavatnik School of Government, at the  University of Oxford, commissioned Michael Craig-Martin to create a sculpture to enhance the space outside of the building.

Craig-Martin designed a bold, magenta, 16-foot high fountain pen, that balances on its nib, outside the building’s main entrance.

“The image I proposed for Oxford was that of a fountain pen.” Craig-Martin said, “The image can be seen as a reference to serious study and learning, particularly to the signing of important documents, an age-old formality that connects, like Oxford itself, the past and the present, and which is recognised globally.”

Craig-Martin was born in Dublin, in 1941 and has lived and worked in Britain since 1966. As a teacher at Goldsmiths College in London, he influenced a generation of great British artists.

He his known for his minimal style and vivid colors, in both his paintings, prints and sculptures, like Thonet Chair and Sportsballs, available at VFA.

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring moved from Pennsylvania to New York in 1978 to study at the School of Visual Arts. By 1982, he was one of the most visible, and well-known artists in the city.

He had a wide group of friends, including videographer Nelson Sullivan, who recorded the Manhattan art and club scene. Sullivan  recorded a New Years Eve party that Haring held at a gallery, to ring in 1984. That was the same year he collaborated with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to create the textile for the skirt Madonna wore in her music video Borderline.

Works like Chocolate Buddha and those of the Pop Shop series, available at VFA, are so unique and instantly recognizable as Haring’s. It is hard to imagine the artists who inspired him, but there were a few, like Belgian artist, Pierre Alechinsky.

Haring’s work is being shown alongside those of Alechinsky at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale. Alechinsky, whose style had a profound influence on Haring, is 94 and lives and works  just outside of Paris.

Confrontation: Keith Haring and Pierre Alechinsky will run from February 27 through October 2, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Kenny Scharf, Jonas Wood, Andy Warhol,  Jonas Wood, Alex Katz, Michael Craig-Martin, Keith Haring or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.

Cassandra Grey. Cassandra Grey’s 5 Favourite Works on Frieze Viewing Room. Frieze Los Angeles, News February 17, 2022.
Ingrid Schmidt. The Weeknd, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Corden in the Market for Art at Frieze Los Angeles. The Hollywood Reporter. February 18, 2022.
University of Oxford. Michael Craig-Martin: Fountain Pen, 2019.
Editors. Rare footage offers a peek inside the private party Keith Haring threw for his friends in 1984. Queerty. February 16, 2022.

Keith Haring, Derrick Adams and Roy Lichtenstein

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring was one of the twentieth century’s most innovate artists.

Haring took inspiration from Pierre Alechinsky, one of Europe’s most avant-garde artists. Alechinsky was  born in Brussels, but has spent most of his life living, painting and teaching in Paris. At the age of 94, Alechinsky is still very active. A survey of his work was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in 2017 and, in 2018, he was awarded Japan’s Praemium Imperiale Art award for his work.

The NSU Art Museum if Fort Lauderdale has put together an exhibit that combines the works of Haring and Alechinsky. Many of Alechinsky’s paintings in the exhibit are from the museum’s collection of CoBrA artists, a movement that originated in 1948, of which Alechinsky was one of its founders. CoBrA was named for the three northern European cities that its founders originated from – Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Keith Haring described Alechinsky’s works as, “spontaneous, truthful, and real,” characteristics that can also be attributed to Haring’s own work.

Keith Haring and Pierre Alechinsky will be on view at the NSU Art Museum from February 27 through October 2, 2022.

Derrick Adams 1970 – present

Derrick Adams is not just a painter, he is also an educator, curator and community activist. He has been busy creating an artists’ retreat in his hometown of  Baltimore and has worked with young artists in New York, where he lives and works.

The Dreamyard In School program, established in 1994 to encourage children in the Bronx to develop their artistic skills, has created a jigsaw puzzle with of one of Adams’ paintings on one side and works by middle school students, inspired by Adams’ work, on the other.Proceeds from this project will be donated to the DreamYard scholarship fund.

Derrick Adams teaches at Brooklyn College, and is very much a part of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, where his studio is located. A PBS documentary, aired in April last year, looks at his work, his process and his desire to show how “relaxation can be a radical political act for Black people.”

Roy Lichtenstein 1923-1997

Before Roy Lichtenstein’s rise to fame in New York in the 1960s, he lived and worked in Cleveland with his first wife, Isabel, and their two sons. It was Isabel who supported the family with her successful interior design business, while Lichtenstien helped by hanging curtains for her clients, working as a window dresser, draftsman and giving art lessons.

It was a time when he was honing his style, but had little success selling his work.

The family moved to New York to help further his career, to the detriment of hers.

The PBS documentary, Isabel & Roy, captures the upward spiral of Roy’s life and the downward spiral of Isabel’s.

In the early years, the 1950s, it was probably hard for the couple to imagine Lichtenstein’s success, and that one of his works, Masterpiece, would some day sell for $165 million.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring, Derrick Adams, Roy Lichtenstein or any of the other fine art available at VFA.

Phillips Valys. Critic’s picks: Four eye-popping art exhibits this season. Sun Sentinel. January 25, 2022.
Dodi Kazanjian .Derrick Adams’s Art Celebrates Black Life at its Most Exultant. Vogue. April 1, 2021.
Victoria L. Valentine. 14 Jigsaw Puzzles Celebrate Work of Highly Regarded Black Artists, From Derrick Adams, Faith Ringgold, and Gee’s Bend Quilters to Horace Pippin and Jacob Lawrence. Culture Type. January 29, 2022.
Steven Litt. Excellent ideastream documentary explores Roy Lichtenstein’s pivotal early years in Cleveland. May 23, 2021.

Works by Ugo Rondinone, KAWS and Keith Haring at VFA

Ugo Rondinone – 1964

New York-based Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone is best known for his enormous sculptures and his brightly colored concentric circle paintings and prints.

Rondinone has partnered with the Belvedere Museum of Contemporary Art in Vienna, to present works, done by children, to paint pictures of rainbows. The artist, and the museum’s art education team, invited children in elementary schools throughout Austria, between the ages of 6 through 12, to join in the uplifting project.

More than 1,000 drawings, covering more than 200 feet,  are being displayed in the Belvedere Palace Garden.

Ugo Rondinone: your age and my age and the age of the rainbow will be on display through November 2021.

Sculptures by Rondinone are currently on display with works by American artist Pat Steir at the Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich. The contrast between the solidity of Rondinone’s pebble-studded concrete sculptures and the softness of Steir’s rain-like paintings makes for a wonderful exhibit.

A selection of Ugo Rondinone’s limited edition silkscreens on 4-ply board are available at VFA.

KAWS 1974 –

The year isn’t over yet, and already Brian Donnelly, the artist known as KAWS, has collaborated with Nike and Sacai, Supreme, Human Made, and Porter. He’s also worked with Comme des Garçons on a fragrance, whose bottle will probably  be more sought after than the fragrance itself.

KAWS is a superstar in Japan and his Tokyo exhibit has just ended, as has his successful retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, one of the first major museums to purchase his work for its permanent collection.

Sticking closer to home, KAWS is collaborating with General Mills to create a ‘Companion’ design for a Reese’s Puffs cereal box. The company had rapper Travis Scott put a signature design on Puffs box. They sold out in less than 30 seconds after release and are being resold for more than $200.

Keith Haring 1958-1990

In 1983, Keith Haring was commissioned by Italian designer Elio Fiorucci to create a large mural for the designer’s gallery in Milan.

Haring asked Angel Ortiz, a young graffiti artist known as LA ll, to collaborate with him on the project. The results were a large mural that Fiorucci took down in 1984 and stored until its restoration in 1991.

The mural has been placed in midtown Manhattan’s New York City Center, and will remain there through 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Ugo Rondinone, KAWS and Keith Haring available at VFA.

Web Master. Pat Steir & Ugo Rondinone: waterfalls & clouds at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Maag Areal. Arte Fuse. September 28, 2021.
Jake SIlbert. KAWS x Reeses Puffs is the Breakfast of ‘Companions’.Highsnobiety. October 12, 2021.
Tyler Watamanuk. Now You Can Smell Like One of the Biggest Artists on Earth. GQ. October 11, 2021.

KAWS and Keith Haring at VFA

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KAWS 1974 –

Brian Donnelly, the artist known as KAWS, has been living and working in Brooklyn since the 1990s, and has recently updated his studio in Williamsburg. The Brooklyn Museum was one of the first major venues to add a KAWS sculpture to its permanent collection and is currently holding the first New York museum retrospective of the artist’s work.

The KAWS: WHAT PARTY exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum has attracted large and diverse crowds. The more than 100 works on display reflect his themes of love, friendship and loss, and the fusion of fine and commercial art.

In a recent Brooklyn Rail interview, KAWS reflected on the impact he hopes that the exhibit will have on young museum visitors. “I remember clearly being young and walking into galleries and feeling I needed to, like, walk backwards out of them.” he said. “I am hoping I can plant that seed, and create that comfort zone that they can then say, actually, that was all right, and then go check out the next show, and the next show and say, “This wasn’t the worst experience, what else can I see?”

Because of his commercial success and the high demand for his collectibles in the U.S. and Asia, the museum is allowing each visitor only one trip into its gift shop and each visitor is only allowed to purchase no more than two items.

KAWS: WHAT PARTY will be on view through September 5, 2021.

Several editions of What Party, both vinyl and silkscreen, are available at VFA.

Keith Haring 1958-1990

Keith Haring’s legacy is the joyful way in which he impacted the social conscience of the world. His subjects were often dark -drug use, AIDS, war – but his message was sent with kindness and caring intent.

More than thirty years after his death, the artist and his artwork still resonate, and a new generation has discovered his work.

The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York is hosting an exhibit of Haring’s work, as well as a public discussion about his art and activism and ‘hands on’ workshops in July for children ages 6-8 and 9-12, to explore his life, influences and style.

The exhibit, Keith Haring: Radiant Visions will be on exhibit through September 6, 2021.

Keith Haring documented much of his work, and his life, with a Polaroid camera. Polaroid and the Keith Haring Foundation have collaborated to design a camera that pays homage to Haring’s style. His artwork is on both the camera and the film.

Silkscreens from Haring’s Pop Shop Series l, ll and lll, done from 1987-1989 are available at VFA.

Please contact us for more information about the works of KAWS, Keith Haring or any of the other fine art prints, paintings and sculptures available at VFA.

Jason Rosenfeld. KAWS with Jason Rosenfeld. The Brooklyn Rail. June 2021.
Katherine J. Wright/Larissa Ryan. Keith Haring: Radiant Vision: Fenimore opens major show on 1980s iconic artist, Haring. Allotsego. June 3, 2021.
Nadja Sayej. A New Polaroid Camera That Honors Keith Haring. Forbes. June 8, 2021.
Sage Anderson. Polaroid Releases Keith Haring-Inspired Collection of Instant Cameras and Film. Rolling Stone. June 8, 2021.
Edward M. Gómez. Takashi Murakami Helps Present Art Fair’s ‘Super-Rough’ in SoHo. The New York Times. June 4, 2021.

Keith Haring’s Pop Shop Fine Art Prints at VFA

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I don’t think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it. – Keith Haring

On any given day, in any given year, there’s a Keith Haring exhibit going on somewhere in the world. Although Haring died more than thirty years ago, his legacy is profound and long lasting.

In 1986, Keith Haring opened the Pop Shop in New York to make his art more accessible to the public. The small space, at 292 Lafayette Street in Soho, was a small boutique that sold t-shirts, pins and other novelty items adorned with Haring’s images. The entire shop, walls, floor and ceiling, were painted with Haring motifs.

“Here’s the philosophy behind the Pop Shop:” Haring said,  “I wanted to continue this same sort of communication as with the subway drawings. I wanted to attract the same wide range of people, and I wanted it to be a place where, yes, not only collectors could come, but also kids from the Bronx. The main point was that we didn’t want to produce things that would cheapen the art. In other words, this was still an art statement.”

His playful style and hieroglyphic designs have a universal appeal. They look joyful, yet Haring’s messages focus on serious subjects like sex, drugs, war, discrimination, racism, and taking responsibility for personal behavior.

The Pop Shop closed in 2005. The original ceiling was donated to the New York Historical Society, where it was installed in its entryway.

The Tate Modern reconstructed the Pop Shop in 2009 as part of a group exhibit called Pop Life.

Silkscreens that Haring did during the early Pop Shop years are now available at VFA.

Haring was an integral part of the New York art and music scene in the 1980s. He hung out at Club 57 with other artists, like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, whose works he displayed at the Pop Shop.

Other celebs at the Club included Madonna, Ru Paul, the B-52s, Cyndi Lauper and Andy Warhol. Some of those artists were also visitors to Haring’s apartment on Broome Street in Lower Manhattan and many of them put their signatures and symbols on the door of Haring’s refrigerator door.

The refrigerator door, which measured 40.5 by 22.75 inches, was kept by the tenant who moved into the apartment after Haring left. She rescued the door after the fridge conked out and the landlord was going to replace it.

The door sold at auction on May 11 for $25, 000.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf or any of the other fine artists, whose works are available at VFA.

Nora McGreevy. Keith Haring’s Famous Friends, From Madonna to Andy Warhol, Left Their Mark on His Fridge Door. Smithsonian Magazine. May 18, 2021.
Eileen G’Sell. The Darker Side of Keith Haring. Hyperallergic. May 15, 2021.
James Barron. Keith Haring’s Fabulous Friends Left Their Mark on His Fridge Door. The New York Times. May 11, 2021.
Michelle Devane. Exhibition showcasing pop art’s Andy Warhol and Keith Haring opens in Dublin. breaking May 21, 2021.
Elizabeth Birdthishtle. Pop artists Warhol and Haring in Dublin and Belfast exhibitions. The Irish Times. May 15, 2021.

Basquiat & Haring: Art + Music

The Art and Music of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)

“Art is how we decorate space, music is how we decorate time.”
—Jean-Michel Basquiat

Time Decorated is a new documentary series, produced by the Broad Museum, that examines the impact of music on the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the impact of Basquiat on music. The documentary asserts that Basquiat was the connection between the bebop and hip-hop worlds.

In the 1980s Basquiat became part of the Downtown New York club scene, along with artists and musicians like Keith Haring, Madonna and Debby Harry.

In 1983, Basquiat created paintings of his Bebop music heroes like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, the same year that he produced and released a hip-hop single Beat Bop on his own label.

Basquiat’s connection to the Broad Museum in Los Angeles began when the museum’s founders, Eli and Edythe Broad, visited Basquiat’s studio in New York and invited him to visit them in LA.

The three part documentary series Time Decorated is available at the Broad Museum’s website.

The Continued Relevance of Keith Haring (1958-1990)

The public has a right to art. The public is being ignored by most contemporary artists. Art is for everybody. – Keith Haring

Keith Haring left his hometown of Kutztown, Pennsylvania in 1978 to study painting at the School of Visual Arts. He worked as a busboy and a janitor, doing whatever it took to keep creating the works that he wanted to be seen.

His subway drawings got him the public attention he garnered and he signed with his first gallery in 1982. In 1983 he had his first show in Europe.

Sweet and sincere, Haring’s social activism was easy for the public to embrace. His  murals, like the one he did, gratis, at Grace House, a center for at-risk youth in New York, are still fresh and relevant.

The mural was taken down, preserved and sold to an anonymous collector for nearly $4 million to help finance the renovations at Grace House in 2019. It is currently on loan to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver.

In his recent book, Lives of the Artists: Keith Haring, author Simon Doonan looks at the extraordinary career of the artist who died in 1990 at age 31, and whose legacy still resonates and endures.

The works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, available at VFA.

Lexis-Olivier Ray. How Music Steered the Art of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Hyperallergic. March 2, 2021.
Madeleine Luckel. Why Artist Keith Haring Still Deserves Your Attention. Architectural Digest. February 19, 2021.
Jacqueline Cutler. Artist Keith Haring’s zest for life, his iconic work and his tragic death. New York Daily News. March 5, 2021.
Michael Paglia. Keith Haring’s Grace House Mural Makes Exhibition Debut at MCA Denver. Westword. March 8, 2021.

Keith Haring’s Collaborations, Celebration of 80 Years at the Norton Museum

Keith Haring’s Collaborations

In the recently published book, Keith Haring’s Line: Race and the Performance of Desire, author Ricardo Montez looks at the way that Keith Haring connected with those around him, and how race and gender influenced his works.

Haring was very social, very driven and very curious about the world around him. He filled journals with pages of drawings, calligraphy and poetry. He collected the works of artists whom he met and admired in New York.

His legacy, the Keith Haring Foundation, supports not-for-profit organizations that assist children, as well as organizations involved in education, prevention, and care related to AIDS. Works from Haring’s personal collection were auctioned off last September to benefit New York’s LGBT Center. Haring’s collection included works by Andy Warhol, Kenny Scharf, Jean Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein and other incredible and influential artists, whose works are available at VFA.

In 1978, Haring was a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He painted a mural for an exhibit in the student gallery at 260 West Broadway. The building, an 8,000 square foot triplex loft has been converted to a private residence, with the original mural intact. The asking price for the Tribeca loft is $8 million.

Alex Katz, Jeff Koons Featured at the Norton Museum’s 80th Anniversary Celebration

The Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach opened its doors to the public on February 8, 1941 and has been an integral part of the community for the past eighty years.

Norton Museum of Art postcard, circa 1941 Courtesy of Norton Museum of Art.

The museum was renovated in 2019 with a new look and nearly 60,000 square feet of new or renovated space.

To mark the Norton’s 80th Anniversary, the museum held a virtual anniversary celebration and an art auction hosted by Sotheby’s.

Works by Alex Katz and Jeff Koons were featured in the auction.

One of the current exhibits at the Norton are prints and drawings from the collection of Esther M. and Sumner L. Feldberg. The collection includes work by Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Sol Lewitt and other fine print artists. The exhibit runs through March 28, 2021.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring, Alex Katz, Jeff Koons or any of the other fine artists whose works are available at VFA.

Adriana Delgado. Norton celebrates 80th anniversary, virtual party and auction. Palm Beach Daily News. February 4, 2021.
Adam Rathe. Palm Beach’s Norton Museum Gets a Renovation by Norman Foster. Town&Country Magazine. February 5, 2019.
Dana Schulz. For $8M, this Tribeca loft comes with an original Keith Haring mural. 6sqft. February 9, 2021.
Danilo Machado. Keith Haring’s Lines of Desire. Hyperallergic. February 8, 2021.
Cassie Packard. Keith Haring’s Personal Collection Will Be Sold to Benefit New York’s LGBT Center. Hyperallergic. September 24, 2020.

A Mixtape for Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol and Lou Reed

Nothing said I love you…or….I don’t love you anymore…like a mixtape in the 1970s and 1980s. A recently discovered mixtape, made by Lou Reed as a gift to Andy Warhol, reflects the complicated relationship between the musician and the artist. The tape of previously unreleased songs was discovered by Judith Peraino, professor of music at Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences, who discovered the tape while doing archival research at the Warhol Museum.

“What makes this rare is the gift aspect of the tape,” she said, “that Lou Reed intentionally created both a curated set of songs and a composed set of songs on tape meant only for Warhol. This is a harbinger of the mixtape culture and gift-giving that flourished in the 1980s and 1990s.”

Warhol managed The Velvet Underground, Reed’s ’60s band. They had a tumultuous relationship. Reed fired Warhol as manager in 1968, although Warhol continued to help the band.

Side 2 of the tape is labeled “Philosophy Songs (From A to B & Back)” after Warhol’s book by that title. The songs, which Reed sings alone while playing guitar, are both sad, heartfelt and apologetic, a reflection of the relationship between the two men.

Andy Warhol and Keith Haring

Andy Warhol met Keith Haring in 1984. Both men were collectors and stored away gifts and mementos that caught their fancy. Last week, Sotheby’s held an online auction called, Dear Keith: Works from the Personal Collection of Keith Haring, which included gifts that Haring received and collected from many artist friends, like Kenny Scharf, George Condo, Jean Michel Basquiat and Roy Lichtenstein. One of the highlights of the auction was a Gumby watch, signed by Andy Warhol, that sold for $11,340.

Warhol’s Works Headed to China

Art lovers in China turned out in record numbers last year for a Picasso retrospective at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. It was the first time that a major museum in mainland China had done a show dedicated just to the works of Picasso, and it turned out to be a big hit. The museum is hoping to have another great success with a comprehensive show of over 200 works by Andy Warhol in 2021.

The museum usually focuses on the works of living artists, but the success of the Picasso show was the impetus for the staff to reach out to the Warhol Museum and arrange the exhibit, which will include paintings, prints, drawings, films, and photographs, as well as archival materials, that tell the story of Warhol’s  trajectory from his childhood in Pittsburgh to his command of the art world in New York.

Warhol’s famous portrait of Mao Zedong will probably not be included in the exhibit. The show, simply titled Andy Warhol will run from July 3 through October 10, 2021 in Beijing before traveling to Shanghai in November.

The Works of Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Jean Michel Basquiat and Roy Lichtenstein at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about the fine works of art available at VFA.

Ben Sisario. A Long-Lost Lou Reed Tape With a Surprise: Andy Warhol Lyrics. The New York Times. October 30, 2019.
Linda B. Glaser. Musicologist discovers tape of unreleased Lou Reed music. Cornell Chronicle. October 30, 2019.
Far Out Magazine Staff. The long lost Lou Reed songs recorded for Andy Warhol. Far Out Magazine. October 4, 2020.
Taylor Dafoe. Beijing’s UCCA Broke Records With Its Blockbuster Picasso Show. It Wants to Do the Same With the Largest-Ever Andy Warhol Survey in China. artnetnews. October 5, 2020.
Eileen Kinsella. Sotheby’s $4.6 Million Sale of Keith Haring’s Personal Art Collection Tripled Expectations and Drew in Droves of New Buyers. artnetnews. October 2, 2020.
Chris Smith. Remember mixtapes? The history of the cassette. BT. August 20, 2018.

Remembering Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring

The works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring gave credibility to graffiti artists and took their works from the street into fine art galleries and museums. The frenetic energy of the New York art scene in the 1980s was a perfect time for both Basquiat and Haring to work, play and get the attention they desired and deserved. Both Basquiat and Haring died young, each in a tragic way, yet, decades later, their art still has the ability to impact and inspire young artists and art lovers.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat dropped out of school, and left his father’s home in Brooklyn, when he was seventeen.

He began doing graffiti on the streets of New York and couch surfing at the apartments of friends. Basquiat’s charm, talent and good looks made it easy for him to find welcoming friends (including Madonna) in the club and art scene that flourished in the ’80s.

In order to repay the hospitality and care that friends bestowed on him, Basquiat would often swap or leave a piece of his artwork for them. The works themselves are interesting, but even more so is the way that these creations were protected and cherished for so many years.

In 1979, Jane Diaz, was an art student and worked as a waitress in the East Village. She met Basquiat when he was spraying graffiti on the sidewalk. They struck up a conversation, he followed her home and stayed for about a week, leaving behind a bunch of drawings, including a self-portrait that was labeled Little Monkey,  just one of the works that have been brought together for an exhibit called Our Friend Jean at the Bishop Gallery in Brooklyn, which is currently on display and will run through the end of the month.

Keith Haring

While Jean-Michel Basquiat was spray painting the walls and sidewalks of New York, Keith Haring was drawing in the subways.

Both artists got recognition from the other underground  artists and the group of people who frequented Club 57 and the other venues that were distanced from the mainstream art world of high-end galleries and museums.

Haring was sometimes arrested for drawing on blank subway advertising sites. The up-side of his subway graffiti was the number of New Yorkers who were able to watch him work and see the art that he so skillfully created.

Deceptively simple in style, Haring’s work was cutting cultural commentary on issues including AIDS, drug addiction, sex, and apartheid. His work, like Basquiat’s, crossed the line from low art to high art and both artists had their works shown in major galleries and museums.

Basquiat died of a heroin overdose at age 27, just two years before Haring died of AIDS at age 30.

They enjoyed a close friendship. When Basquiat died, Haring created a painting called Piles of Crowns as a memorial, using the symbolic crown that often appeared in Basquiat’s work.  For his friend’s obituary, Haring wrote, “The supreme poet. Every action is symbolic, every gesture an event… Greedily we wonder what masterpieces we might have been cheated out of by his death… only now will people begin to understand the magnitude of his contribution.”

The works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring are being shown at an exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Called Keith Haring/Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines, the exhibit will run through April 11, 2020.

The Works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Flexible, Keith Haring’s Chocolate Buddha #3 or any of the other fine art works available at VFA.

Lindy Percival. Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat: art stars who shone too briefly. The Sydney Morning Herald. November 22, 2019.
Robert Becker. Remembering Basquiat Through the Keepsakes He Gave Intimates. Hyperallergic. February 20, 2020.
Meg Watson. ‘We were all a little bit punk’: Haring, Basquiat and the art that defined 80s New York. The Guardian. February 23, 2020.

Keith Haring Artworks at VFA

I accept my fate, I accept my life.  I accept my shortcomings, I accept the struggle.  I accept my inability to understand.  I accept what I will never become and what I will never have.  I accept death and I accept life.  I have no profound realizations — it is blind acceptance and some kind of faith.
-Keith Haring, Journals, February 15, 1989

Simple, joyful and instantly recognizable, Keith Haring’s work allowed him to focus on serious social issues in a way that gave legitimacy and credibility to street art.

Crack is Wack Restored

In 1986, Keith Haring’s friend and studio assistant, Benny Soto, became addicted to crack. Haring tried to get help for Soto, but little help was available. The crack epidemic was at its height, and was especially devastating in New York City.

In typical Haring fashion, he spotted a handball court, in a small park, that was visible from the Harlem River Drive and used it to send a powerful message.

Haring painted the Crack is Wack mural in a single day. It was at the end of the day that a police officer arrested Haring for defacing public property and gave him a court date.

The mural was so visible, the message so strong, that local news outlets used the image in their news stories about the crack epidemic.

It wasn’t until the New York Post asked to photograph Haring in front of the mural that the story of his arrest was made public.

The story led to a public outcry. Unfortunately, someone from the Parks Department had painted over the mural with gray paint.

Public support for Haring was so strong, that the Parks Commissioner wrote a letter of apology to Haring and asked him to repaint the mural, which has become one of the most recognizable murals in the city.

The mural has weathered over the years, and is currently being restored.

Benny Soto overcame his addiction and works as an event promoter in New York.

The Grace House Mural at Auction

Benny Soto was one of the young people who invited Keith Haring to Grace House, a youth center located in  a building owned by the Ascension Parish Church in New York’s Upper West Side.

The building, next to the church, was once a convent, then youth center and finally, a residence.

In 1984, Haring was invited by Grace House’s director, Gary Mallon, to paint a mural in the building. One night, Haring showed up with a can of black paint and a house painter’s brush and, in a single night, painted an 85-foot mural up the stairway of the building.

The church has decided to sell the building to pay for needed repairs for the main church. Thinking that the mural might be destroyed by new owners, the church spent $900,000 to have the mural removed. It was taken down in fifteen separate pieces, which are on display at Bonham’s Madison Avenue Gallery and will be auctioned this month. Pre-auction estimates are $3 million to $5 million.

Keith Haring’s Works at VFA

Keith Haring often included religious symbols in his works, especially during the last years of his life. The Chocolate Buddha Series, created just one year before his death in 1990, are infused with his typical brand of joy and humor.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the Chocolate Buddha Series, or about any of the fine art prints available at VFA.

See More Keith Haring for Sale

Matthew Israel. Keith Haring’s ‘Crack is Wack’: NYC’s Most Famous Mural? Huffington Post. December 6, 2017.
Elena Martinique. How Louise Hunnicutt Brought Keith Haring’s Crack is Wack Mural Back to its Original Glory. Widewalls. October 11, 2019.
Jorge Fitz-Gibbon. Keith Haring mural cut from UWS wall could go for $5M at auction. New York Post. October 23, 2019.
Gabrielle Leung. Keith Haring’s 85-Foot Mural Cut Out of New York City Wall and Brought to Auction. Hypebeast. October 18,2019.

Keith Haring Exhibit at the Tate

The legacy that Keith Haring left for the world is one of hope, joy and learning.  He moved from his hometown of Kutztown, Pennsylvania to New York in 1978, when he was just twenty.

Haring died at age 31. His career was short, just ten years, but the impact he has had on the world is extraordinary.

Keith Haring at the Tate Liverpool

The Tate Liverpool is preparing for the first major exhibit of Keith Haring’s work in the U.K. The exhibit will showcase more than 85 artworks, including paintings, drawings and sculptures, some of which have never been seen outside of the U.S.

The exhibit will also display photographs, videos and posters to give visitors a feel of  1980s New York, and the culture in which Haring lived and worked. The exhibit will be on display from June 14 through November 10, 2019.

Keith Haring’s Collingwood Mural Restored

In 1984, Keith Haring visited Australia and painted a mural at the Collingwood Technical School, an inner city school in Melbourne. Haring’s art, and enthusiasm, made him a welcome distraction for students at the school. The school closed in 1987, and the mural faded, but art conservators in Melbourne fought hard to get it restored.

The video below, The Collingwood Mural: Keith Haring Uncovered, was created in 2015, after the mural restoration was completed. The video has footage from 1984, that shows the enthusiasm with which the work was received, the extraordinary reconstruction of the mural and even an interview with the thief who admitted he stole the door, complete with signature, from the mural.

Haring did dozens of murals around the world, including one, in 1986, on a section of the Berlin Wall. Before the wall was demolished in 1989, Haring wrote, in his diary:

… If it is not regarded as ‘sacred’ and ‘valuable’, then I can paint without inhibition, and experience the interaction of lines and shapes. I can paint spontaneously without worrying if it looks ‘good’; and I can let my movement and my instant reaction/response control the piece, control my energy (if there is any control at all) … It is temporary and its permanency is unimportant. Its existence is already established. It can be made permanent by the camera.

Keith Haring Works Available at VFA

Keith Haring wanted his art to be accessible to the public. His sense of design and his fearless use of colors and symbols gives his work universal appeal. Haring not only painted, but created screenprints, lithographs and ceramic pieces, some of which are available at VFA. Please contact us if you would like more information about the works of Keith Haring.

See More Keith Haring Work for Sale

Mark Byrnes. A Community Restores Its Keith Haring Mural. CityLab. July 20, 2018.
Patricia Baum. New Yorker Keith Haring’s work on show in the Grund. RTL. January 24, 2019.
Keith Haring in Amsterdam, 1986

Hidden Keith Haring Mural Uncovered and Preserved in Amsterdam

Before his death, in 1990, Keith Haring had gone from being an American superstar to becoming an international icon. He was commissioned to paint murals in Australia, Rio, Paris and on the Berlin Wall.

Keith Haring in Amsterdam

Keith Haring had his first solo museum show in 1986 at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. As a gift to the city, Haring painted a large mural on the wall of a building that had served as a warehouse for the museum. Two years after he painted the mural, which depicts a white, thick-lined sea creature, the wall was covered with aluminum siding for climate control within the building. The area surrounding the building was a low-income neighborhood in 1986 and is now the location of Amsterdam’s Markt Kwartier, or Food Market. The mural was covered, and forgotten, for 30 years.

Enter Mick La Rock

The warehouse building, with the Haring mural concealed, was slated for either redevelopment or demolition. Enter Dutch artist Aileen Esther Middel, known as  Mick La Rock, one of the world’s first and most well known female graffiti artists. Middel was a huge Keith Haring fan, and wondered what had happened to the mural. About four years ago, Middel did some research at the Stedelijk Museum library and discovered that the mural had been covered up and remained intact.

Her persistence and perseverance, along with the help of the Keith Haring Foundation, led to the creation of an initiative called Save Our Haring. Four years of working with the Foundation, the local municipal government, gallery owner Olivier Varossieau, the building’s owner and real estate developers, the mural was finally uncovered on June 18. Middel is continuing her work with the initiative to find the best way to preserve the mural.

Haring Did Disco

A Keith Haring mural is part of an exhibit at The Vitra Design Museum, in Weil am Rhein, Germany, called Night Fever. Designing Club Culture 1960 – Today. The mural was created at the Palladium in New York, a long standing nightclub that was established in 1927. The club evolved from a venue for ballroom dancing, latin and disco, and was finally demolished in 1997.

When it was reopened as a nightclub hot spot in 1985, Japanese architect Arata Isozaki designed a neon dance floor with a giant Keith Haring mural on one wall. Jean-Michel Basquiat, Francesco Clemente and Kenny Scharf also created murals for the Palladium. The exhibit looks at the art, design, furniture and culture of nightclubs around the world. If you’re lucky enough to be traveling through Germany this summer, the exhibit runs through September 9.

Keith Haring at VFA

Keith Haring produced masterful works, not only in paintings and murals, but prints and pottery, as well. He often worked in series, like the Chocolate Buddha and Growing series. Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Keith Haring available at VFA.

See More Keith Haring Artwork for Sale


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