Haring Miami: Local Artists Jessy Nite and Albert Vatveri on Keith Haring's Influence
New York City has long been the mecca of contemporary American art. In the '80s, artists such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring dominated the local scene before going on to take over the (art) world.
Through Sunday, March 10, the Moore Building is exhibiting "Haring Miami," featuring more than 200 original works by the artist. Presented by the same people who brought last year's "Dali Miami" to town, the exhibit promises tons of never-before-seen work.
Haring, whose ubiquitous, colorful pop style had earned him international acclaim, died of AIDS at age 31. But at that young age, he had already produced more works of art than some artists three times his age.
Apart from producing copious artworks, he was also a champion of AIDS organizations and children's programs, for which his own organization, the Keith Haring Foundation, provided funds.
Artists all over the world have been influenced by Haring's bold colors and fluid lines. Jessy Nite, a local artist with Primary Projects, explains how she was introduced to Haring's work:
Robert Dempster Artist Jessy Nite, hard at work.
"My mother is an art enthusiast, and when we were little children, she would give us books from the Met and Smithsonian as presents. I was born just outside of Manhattan, so she would often take us for outings in the city. I can still remember when I started to notice the bright colors and characters of Keith Haring's work. I was so used to more classical styles that once I learned he was a 'real artist,' it framed the art world in a whole new context. Haring was one of the first artists who showed me the value of personal style and originality in a professional artist career."
As busy as Haring was taking over New York, he still found time to hang out with Madonna, junkie/author William Burroughs, and psychologist/junkie Timothy Leary. Madonna has given many a shout-out to him over the years. When we mentioned his name to local artists, they were eager to share stories about Haring's influence.