Political Lines with a Side of Fish

My friend Christina and I explored Keith Haring’s mind at the deYoung Museum yesterday. Admittedly, although we were familiar with his distinguished vibrant lines of movement, we never knew what truly laid between those lines until this exhibit.

Haring’s seemingly simple yet bold pieces all entailed political statements in which he critiqued society from issues such as the technology takeover and racism.

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An artist is a spokesman for a society at any given point in history. His language is determined by his perception of the world we all live in. He is a medium between ‘what is’ and ‘what could be.

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The longer your eyes trace his artwork, the more messages you will find. Can one correctly detect how many characters are in a piece by a simple glance? Definitely not.

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Haring’s work causes its viewers to shudder, become disgruntled and uncomfortable…but all for a good reason. He forces you to think about the world we live in and open your eyes to the problems at hand.

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Red is one of the strongest colors, it’s blood, it has a power with the eye. That’s why traffic lights are red I guess, and stop signs as well… In fact I use red in all of my paintings.

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The public needs art – and it is the responsibility of a ‘self-proclaimed artist’ to realize that the public needs art, and not to make bourgeois art for a few and ignore the masses.

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As uncomfortable and in-need-of-a-hug I became after the exhibit, I was inspired. Every single one of his pieces activates the mind with questions such as: What would his artwork look like today, considering many of the problems he represented in the 80s are still relevant today? How can we work together so that these problems are no longer the ugly truth? How are we, like some of Haring’s characters, victims or victimizers in the world we live in? DSC00691

Christina and I made our way across the garden to Academy of Sciences afterwards for its weekly NightLife. I’m grateful we did; it was the greatest way to ease our mind after a dense scenery. Besides, who wouldn’t love to watch hundreds of different fish or enter a rainforest stimulation with real butterflies fluttering around?!

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– ChiChai@Empire

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