“Keith Haring. About art”. The exhibition in Milan.
“Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man and the world. It lives through magic.”
Since the dawn of time, in an era far remote from the invention of writing, human beings have felt the need to create a bond with the surrounding world. Figurative images, carved or painted on the walls of caves with magical and propitiatory purpose, are among the first examples of expression of this bond. Expressing the feeling of awareness of an external reality and its importance to human life.
Keith Haring was born in Pennsylvania in 1958. As a painter and a writer, he was a key member of the Street Art that would developed in the seventies of the last century. His art is made of simple images and color. It is anything but light, rather politically and socially engaged, in which space for the main themes in his era like racism, nuclear threat, and AIDS (which led him to his death in 1990) to the dehumanization of culture can be found.
The comic outline of Haring, actually, encloses a complex aesthetic and moral thought, which is not always easy to read. It is based on the principle of the centrality of man in the universe – a typical Renaissance principle – that the artist expresses in a new and very modern language. In his works, tensions of the past and the present mingle, on the background of an anthropocentric philosophy that led to the stylized figure of ‘”little man” represented with arms raised: an anonymous figure, faceless that represents both the individual and the whole humanity. Within the artistic language of Haring, symbolic and universal at the same time, colors play a fundamental role: strong, intense, sometimes fluorescent, nearly always anti-naturalistic and spread on large flat backgrounds.
And It is exactly his colors that strike when entering to the Palazzo Reale in Milan, where a monograph exhibition on this popular artist is currently on display. Popular in all the senses, not only because he is the real “star” of contemporary art (as he was one of the first on Warhol’s trail to understand the importance of turning his name into a brand), but also because he is the protagonist of an art, that of the graffiti and of Street Art, which was founded by the people and for the people. A public art that lives in the streets of the town, on the walls, in the metropolitan. An art accessible to all and the purpose of which is also educational.
The exhibition “Keith Haring. About Art “, curated by Gianni Mercurio, was inaugurated on February, 21st and will remain open until June, 18th. The exhibition aims to reconstruct the genealogical path of Haring’s artistic creation, by analyzing his relationship with the artistic sources of inspiration: from classical to the tribal one, from Renaissance masters to the innovators of the ‘900.
The course is divided into six thematic sections. It opens with a room dedicated to “Humanism”, the principle that motivates all his art, and ends with the “Performance”, typical of his art creation. Haring, in fact, considered the act of painting a spontaneous creation, a gesture of energy to share with the public: many of his early graffiti, unlike other writers who work “in the shadows”, were carried out in broad daylight to passersby who stopped to admire them.
The exhibition, definitely well-structured, has a wire conductor easy to follow and well developed, thanks to the presence of comparisons with other artworks by artists of different eras. The teaching aids are synthetic but functional and interestingly are the many direct quotations of the artist, which are fundamental to the understanding of the themes.
For more information about the exhibition: http://www.palazzorealemilano.it/wps/portal/luogo/palazzoreale/mostre/inCorso/KEITH_HARING
Keith Haring will be among the artists of our next exhibition dedicated to Street Art, which will be showed next fall. Alongside this American artist’s works, also many other works of those prominent names in the urban art, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Banksy will be presented.