Hangin’ with Haring

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Now that our youngest daughter attends college in Lower Manhattan, I’ve taken to exploring various parts of NYC the way I hope Phoenix visitors will also hit Scottsdale, Tempe and such. My latest forays have taken me to Brooklyn, which is home to charming architecture, top-notch art venues and lots of young families.

Walking is the best way to explore NYC, but sometimes the sheer volume of things on my “must see” list makes cabbing it the more logical choice. I’ve thrown more than a few taxi drivers for a loop by rolling down the window to snap photos of street art while whizzing past it or sitting idle at a street light.

That’s when I call artist Keith Haring to mind. He gleaned more than a few glares during early days creating street art in NYC, and snapping photos of similarly-inspired artists might be the closest I ever get to achieving his level of creativity. Haring lived from 1958 to 1990, and his work is featured in the “Keith Haring: 1978-1982” exhibition running through July 8 at the Brooklyn Museum.

It’s startling, when you consider the size and scope of this exhibition, to realize that it represents just a four year period in Haring’s life. The man was prolific, passionate and provocative — often depicting body parts in unconventional ways during a time when America was coming to grips with the AIDS epidemic and shifts in cultural norms around sexuality.

Folks unfamiliar with the name Keith Haring have likely seen some of his tradmark images. Black outlines of people with red hearts. Dogs and babies. Nowadays you can find Haring creations on all sorts of things — like the round kitchen brush I brought home from the Brooklyn Museum store, hoping it’ll inspire more time with dirty dishes. Art should make even the most mundane parts of life more interesting and fun.

— Lynn

Note: Click here to explore Brooklyn Museum offerings, here to learn more about the Phoenix Art Museum and here for information on the Tucson Museum of Art.

Coming up: New finds at the Tempe Center for the Arts gallery, Play time with James Garcia

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