Keith Haring Gala // De Young Museum

‘The Political Line’ is the first major Keith Haring show on the West Coast in nearly two decades. With more than 130 works, this exhibit showcases Haring’s responses to nuclear weapons, racial inequality, excesses of capitalism, environmental disaster and AIDS.

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One of the most remarkable things about seeing so many pieces so large is to notice the lack of hesitation in his bold & graphic strokes.

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Like Warhol, Keith Haring made a massive body of work throughout his life. “Andy Mouse” (1985) pokes fun at how he and Warhol both ended up being commercial artists.

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“I could earn more money if I just painted a few things and jacked up the price. My shop is an extension of what I was doing in the subway stations, breaking down the barriers between high and low art”. – Keith Haring

Also, seeing some of his lesser known sketches, sculptures & polaroids with pop musical icons like Madonna and Michael Jackson, made this exhibit special and intimate.

The Gala itself was quite spectacular. Attendees were dressed to the nines with hints of 80s flair. Full of nods to the east coast (soft pretzels & lobster rolls), awesome 80’s jams performed by Tainted Love, specialty cocktails & a grapefruit panna cotta that I couldn’t get enough of.

All in all… it was an epic night and a fantastic exhibit.

Jenelle Campbell
Photos by Dana Reiko Barenfeld

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