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A Jewish Childhood- Paris 2013 Jour 5 Keith Haring
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 19:43

Over the years I have seen images of Keith Haring’s work: on T-shirts, Stationery, political buttons, in articles both in Los Angeles and Paris, not sure about Santa Fe. So when I saw there was to be a retrospective of his work in Paris, I googled it, wrote it down, and with much anticipation, got on the 38 to the 72 bus to get there.

The day is overcast. I am still wearing my Polartec vest over a Tencel shirt and long pants. A hand woven scarf b y Jennifer Moore sets it off. Of course, comfortable Merrell walking shoes, what used to be called old lady shoes until they became popular with women at various ages.

I push the button to get off the bus and the driver passes the stop without hesitation and I end up walking back about 6 blocks. No problem as I pass a US and Russian School, and promptly think of Rachmaninoff, and the other Russian composers I have heard since childhood.

On to Musee D’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Keith Haring: A Political Line (April 19-August 18, 2013). Haring is one of the most celebrated artists of this time, and had a great influence not only on the gay movement and his political stance on acceptance and in a big way, the normalizing of AIDS as an international disease when it was yet new knowledge for most of the world. He put it out there and as they say “on the map”.

In his early work, his power seems to be his portrayal of various images of the penis, dogs, people, some Mayan and Egyptian civilization, with the use of these objects as icons. His medium paint on vinyl used usually for truck tarps. Images include dogs, flying saucers, the radiant baby and faceless crowds. He was prolific with street art, later sculpture, pottery, some of which could be seen as, in my mind, as a sarcophagus, which in some cases might be ceramic, the word itself meaning flesh eating, and again in my mind, representing the disease itself eating away at life.

There is also a section of headlines he made up with news print type all alarming in nature, the one in the catalog reads ‘REAGAN: READY TO KILL’.

There are over 5000 “subway drawings” from 1980-1985,

But I get ahead of myself. There are groupings of works in various categories and rooms. The first one is The Individual against the state. Watchwords include individuality and freedom for each individual with robot like creatures ready to attack each one of us. With this work he raises the question about the state’s control over the individual.

The next section, Capitalism talks about the obsession with possessions. He has Mickey Mouse, yet against his rebellion against Capitalism is his POP SHOP, which he is encouraged to open by Andy Warhol, consummate artist/businessman.

Works in Public Space is one that many of us are familiar with.

Click here: Kultur - Keith Haring Documentary - YouTube

Thank you for reading my Jewish Childhood Blog and return soon to read more about this adventure.