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.”
—Keith Haring, Keith Haring Journals, 1984
In 1978, twenty-year-old Keith Haring moved from Pennsylvania to New York City in the midst of its recession, plagued by violence and discrimination. Despite this, street culture, such as hip-hop and graffiti, flourished. Influenced by countercultures the city had given birth to, Haring continued to spread his vision throughout the fractured city and all over the world.
The first mediums and location Haring took interest in and saw as a platform for him to communicate to the masses, was the New York subway system. Seen by thousands of commuters, the advertising boards found in the stations were a perfectly suitable place for Haring’s public art. Haring’s graffiti—hastily drawn with white chalk on blank black paper that covered expired advertising posters—featured his wit and direct messages. The artist continued his communication with the public through the making of posters, centered around antinuclear, antiapartheid, AIDS related issues, LGBTQ related subjects, and many other sociopolitical themes. The works of Keith Haring, unbound by limitations—class, race, gender, religion, and culture—still continues to empower today.
Presenting our latest acquisition, Altarpiece: The Life of Christ (1990), this work was completed a few weeks prior to Haring’s death on February 16, 1990. This was his last work, and is being presented for the first time within the Nakamura Keith Haring Collection. Editions of this piece are housed in 9 different locations around the world, including churches and museums throughout the world. Perhaps the most symbolic of these is still displayed on the altar of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, where his memorial service was held. Accepting his fate, Haring created this final work to impart his lasting legacy of hope, peace, and eternity.
Exhibition: Drawing Social Impact
Hosted by: Nakamura Keith Haring Collection
Supported by: U.S. Embassy, Tokyo, Yamanashi Prefecture, Yamanashi Board of Education, Hokuto City, Hokuto City Board of Education
Special thanks to: The Keith Haring Foundation, CMIC HOLDINGS Co., Ltd.
Date: Friday February 9, 2018–Sunday November 11, 2018 *closed for installation on Monday April 16, 2018
Place: Nakamura Keith Haring Collection 10249-7 Kobuchizawa, Hokuto, Yamanashi, Japan 4080044
Adimission: General 1,000 JPY, Senior 900 JPY, University/College Student 700 JPY, Ages 13–17 500 JPY
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WordPlay Wosene Worke Kosrof The World of the Ethiopian Artist Wosene Worke Kosrof
Date: Thursday November 23, 2017–Sunday April 15, 2018