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Keith Haring: The Political Line
by Dieter Buchhart
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"Exuberant, profane, witty, and provocative, the images in this book reveal the political dimension of Keith Haring's artistic concerns. Through his graffiti-inspired drawings, paintings, sculptures, murals, and other works, Keith Haring created an immediately recognizable visual iconography that spoke to an enormous population--gay and straight, young and old, male and female. His importance in the annals of popular culture is indisputable, but little attention has been paid to his advocacy for social justice. Haring's political perspective is the focus of this visually arresting selection of works that traces the artist's development and historical significance and gives new gravitas to his career. Accompanying a major exhibition at the de Young museum in San Francisco, this book features more than 130 works of art, including large-scale paintings on tarpaulin and canvas, sculptures, and subway drawings. Together they create a narrative that explores Haring's responses to nuclear disarmament, racial inequality, capitalist excess, environmental degradation, and other prevalent social issues. Essays and conversations with writers, critics, and art dealers round out this important analysis of Haring's life, career, and passion"-- "The first comprehensive study of the political nature of Keith Haring's art"--
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)709.2The arts Modified subdivisions of the arts History, geographic treatment, biography Biography (artists not limited to a specific form)
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My favorite piece, early in the exhibit and in the book, is an abstract painting, in black and white and red (blood?) with the caption: “Everybody knows where meat comes from It comes from the store.”
That’s the brilliance of this art, the social commentary. A lot of it was done during the AIDS crisis in NYC, so a lot of the art is about that.
As far as the art: too many penis depictions for my taste, but otherwise great fun. It has a lot of whimsy and themes of social justice. The art shines in the context of what the artist was trying to communicate, particularly his street art. Lots also re religion, war, racism, technology, capitalism, and modern times.
True political art. I admire it.
For me? Art as beauty? Some of it, yes, some of it fun, some of it likeable in context. Important work? Yes!
The art exhibit also has a biographical film which was excellent.
4 ½ stars ( )