Keith Haring's New York
I wasn't around for the Lower East Side during the 70s and 80s, but I feel like this New York City neighborhood still holds true to its reputation as a breeding ground for the arts and for attracting the in-crowd. Recently, Deitch Projects, in association with the Keith Haring Foundation and Goldman Properties, restored Keith Haring's Houston Street and Bowery mural, which was created during the summer of 1982. It was only up for a few months, but it was exemplary of the scene and the people apart of it at that time.
The mural was unveiled on May 4, 2008-Keith Haring's 50th birthday. I walked past it everyday this summer, and it became apart of my cultural memory too. Despite the difference of decades, I feel like this mural resonated with younger generations unaware of the original. Not because it was a Keith Haring, but because it embodies a history and lineage of artists and creativity that has been passed down to the current Lower East Side community. It seems like this piece is about remembrance of the people who opened up a space for the community now. Just a couple of blocks down, there are secret gallery spaces, studios, restaurants that screen movies, and cafes that sell local designer's first lines. It's a community whether or not people recognize it. Keith Haring's mural reminded me of the fact that this community is still around.
Deitch Projects recently hosted a show of Keith Haring's work called "The Ten Commandments" that ended on February 15, 2009 in their Long Island City space. His metaphorical interpretations of the commandments are sometimes antithetical or abstract in interpretation, but the massive scale of these 25' tablet shaped canvases are bound to impress. This is the first time they have been shown in the United States since its first showing in Bordeaux at CAPC in 1985.
I found information about Keith Haring and his recent show on MutualArt.com.