Milan’s Piazza Reale has developed a strong reputation for continuously keeping up with the ebb and flow of contemporary culture. Year after year they carefully select modern and contemporary artwork from the most influential museums and cultural institutions around the world. They do not fail, once again, with a 110 piece exhibition of the American artist Keith Haring’s work entitled “Keith Haring: About Art.”
Keith Haring: About Art
Curated by Gianni Mercurio, Haring will debut in Milan for the first time ever. The work will be available for viewing from February to June with pieces from Madinart, The Keith Haring Foundation, and many other public and private collections.
Known for his street art style with cartoonlike caricatures that speak volumes to the pressing universal inequalities and stigmas, Piazza Reale focuses on the other forms of cultural influence Haring incorporated into his work. His sophistication and freshness of turning “graffiti” into high quality art, despite his outside activism, has created a new concept of visual art while giving the paintbrush a voice like never before.
Haring’s artistic career took off primarily in late 80’s during his twenties, fueled by his outside activism in this transitional time for the United States. However, his pieces are influenced by Classical archaeology, Pre-Colombian art, Native American art, as well as 20th century artists including Jackson Pollock, Jean Dubuffet, Paul Klee and so much more. What is signature to his work is the juxtaposition of his messages; such as life, death, sexuality, and war within different time periods and cultures. He then conveys his ideas with a distinctive style to highlight the issues of the past and to physically “voice” them in the present.
Sculpting a career around public art began on the matte black sections of unused advertising panels on the walls of the New York City subway platforms. He used this as his technique to carry out social messages to the public. His animations gained speed when people began wearing t-shirts and carrying bags with his designs on them, knowing that their apparel was more than just art, but a cry for social justice through the power of creativity. Madonna, Yoko Ono, Andy Warhol, and many other front running artists and activists at the time collaborated with Haring.
From New York to Milan
The 110 pieces at Piazza Reale come from Europe, America, and Asia. Some are larger than life and have never been exhibited before while others are smaller but pack the same bold punch. Regardless of size, the pieces reconstruct a link between different cultures to create an unlikely universal philosophy consolidated in Haring’s own timeless artistic greatness. He covers a range of social inequalities and connects them seamlessly through visual art and stylish political incorrectness.
“Keith Haring: About Art” creates a bridge between Milan and New York and allows these two crucial cities with strong influences to come together through his art. Isn’t this the powerful message of what Haring’s art advocates after all? AIDs tragicaly took Haring’s life at the young age of 31, but his message of equality and extraodinary style that fired up the 80’s still lives on today.