Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Crack Is Wack

When I drove south on the Harlem River Drive along the East River in New York in 98', I noticed  a mural that stood out.  It was located in a  playground and had few stylized cartoon figures graphically painted.  The piece was painted a neon red-orange and it read "CRACK IS WACK".   Years later I realized how important the piece is and how relevant it was in its creation in 1986 by Keith Haring.  It wasn't just sending out and anti-drug-message.  It was leaving the artist's presence in a lower class neighborhood in the Harlem of which many had been ovelooked.  Haring understood that one of the ways for thousands and thousands to see his work and hear his voice is to bring it to the streets.  This attributed to his raw, cartoonish pop style.  In the mid 80's his free-form style was grabbing the eyes of young urban kids, artists, art dealers, and the media.  His imagery became iconic through its simple form and color.  Everyone recognized them and loved the simplicity and flow.  Haring's works throughout his lifetime tackled political and social issues in the 80's that he struggled with in his personal life.  The drive to try to defeat these issuse an enlighten people made one of the most prolific artists of his time.  The humaity expressed through symbolism in his painting is nothing short of genius.   The documentary called The Universe of Keith Haring gives you insight on his courageous journey as an artist in a decade where material posessions began to dull our imaginations.  Inspired by Haring, recently I began playing with some imagery on paper which broadened my creative process.  These works are more intuitive and subconscious.  Here are a few new drawings and watercolor I've been experimenting with. 

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