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Tuesday 3 February 2015

Keith Haring: The Political Line

It's been pretty colorful here on Little Hiccups lately and today's post is no exception.

A few weekends back I visited the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park to see The Political Line, an exhibition of Keith Haring's work.

Keith Haring (1958 - 1990) rose to fame in 1980s New York with his bold urban street culture and graffiti style artwork. Haring's work was often political in nature, touching on issues that concerned the artist including nuclear proliferation, racial inequality, the excesses of capitalism, environmental degradation, and AIDS awareness. 

During his brief but intense career Haring's work was displayed in more than 100 group and solo exhibitions. He also devoted much of his time to creating public artworks in dozens of cities worldwide, many of which were created for charities, hospitals, day care centers and orphanages. Haring's life was cut short when he succumbed to an AIDS related illness at the young age of thirty one in 1990. Despite such a relatively short career, Haring's work has left a lasting impression on a generation of artists and the public.

The Political Line showcases more than one hundred and thirty artworks including large scale paintings on canvases and tarpaulins, sculptures and subway drawings. Several pieces have not been published or on public view since Haring's death in 1990.

Let's take a look at some of the exhibition...

Due to the adult nature of this particular exhibition I did not take Ava or Lola with me. I had originally planned to take them with me as they are fans of  Haring's sculpture Untitled (Three Dancing Figures) which they have seen many times in its usual location next to the Moscone Center (and which you can see above). However, when I looked into the exhibition a little further online I realized that many of the pieces would not really be suitable for them. While there were plenty of pieces that they would've enjoyed seeing there were also plenty that were too graphic for such young kids. At first they were bummed that they couldn't come along but they were easily tempted by the offer to go to the cinema with Daddy. I brought them home a Keith Haring puzzle from the exhibition gift shop and they were pretty pleased with that.

There are only a few weeks left to go see The Political Line for yourself. The exhibition runs through February 16th 2015. For exhibition hours, ticketing and further information please visit https://deyoung.famsf.org/haring.

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