NEW YORK – Since November the New-York Historical Society has reopened after a three-year, multimillion-dollar renovation. I stopped by this weekend to check out the results, especially a portion of newly installed ceiling—straight from Keith Haring’s old Pop Shop in Soho.
The impact of Keith’s strong black interlocking doodles makes for a great entrance to the new museum. The thick bold lines against white background demonstrate Haring’s ability to turn deceptively simple images into an iconic statement.
Keith opened the Pop Shop in 1986, where he sold T-shirts, posters and other inexpensive items bearing his images. The idea was to allow the public access to his work, creating a system to make his art available to as wide an audience as possible. Although he acknowledged that with his success he could receive a premium for his creations, he saw his shop as an extension of his work in subway stations and other public places.
While Haring died tragically in 1990 of AIDS-related complications, his artistic philosophy continues to influence street, and all other artists whose focus is on accessibility over exclusivity today.
The New-York Historical Society Museum is at 170 Central Park West. Their website is nyhistory.org.
For more Keith Haring, an exhibit at the Brooklyn Musuem called “Keith Haring: 1978-1982” is ongoing. The exhibit features 155 works on paper and over 150 archival objects such as sketchbooks, journals, exhibition flyers and documentary photographs. Visit their website: Brooklynmuseum.org.
ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE