The works of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat – two of the most influential artists of late 20th century America – have arrived in Melbourne for a world-first exhibit.
Together, Haring and Basquiat made powerful works providing socio-political commentary by depicting issues of race, inequality and AIDS to name a few.
Their styles share a common ancestor in the street art of New York City. Both heavily influenced by the speedy works that adorned every surface of New York’s cityscape.
Walking through the exhibit one cannot help but be struck by the powerful imagery both artists created. Their works are at times fun, at times quirky and at times just downright weird. Their ability to drag the viewer into a deeply unfair, unbalanced and unequal world is what makes them so great.
Keith Haring visited Melbourne in 1984 and created a temporary mural on the National Gallery of Victoria’s iconic waterwall. This mural has been replicated for the event. During that visit, he painted a mural on the wall of what was then the Collingwood Technical College. This is one of only 31 known Haring murals in the world, and one of only three that have not been significantly covered or damaged.
Both artists died young. Basquiat died of a heroin overdose at age 28, and Haring died of HIV/AIDS at age 32.
The exhibit opens on Sunday, December 1 and runs through to April 13, 2020. You can purchase tickets online here or at the venue.