Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sources of inspiration: Keith Haring // Kunsthal Rotterdam

The last few days you can still visit the Keith Haring exhibit in Rotterdam Kunsthal. I know I am a little late with this post but I did not plan to write about it actually. But when I visit the exhibit yesterday I was struck by how much his work is still inspiring me up until today. So a little writing is in order.

I was 15 when I got introduced with the art of Keith Haring. With it's colorful pop culture works of graffiti and giant canvasses I completely fell in love with the energy put into the art. It was then when I realized I could create something to release my emotions, that might look a little naive to some, but was in fact a part of dealing with what was going on. I loved its powerful strokes and expressive colors and up until this day I find myself being inspired by the works of this NY graffiti artist.

Keith Haring was a street artist of it's time, heavily influenced by the eighties in which he openly discussed (his) sexuality, the global commercialization and political topics like the war. His work might be playful but clearly shows his perspective on serious matters like the increasing homophobia, Aids, drugs, homosexuality and rape. Some pieces are very explicit. The topics are heavy but the body of art makes it all joyful, light and almost appealing. He was struggling with his own health and was diagnosed with Aids. Every painting and every canvas is a piece of himself, reflecting on his life and life in general. His symbolism and way of expression in color and shape still truly captures me up until today. So if you have some time to see an upcoming Keith Haring show near your place in the future go and experience the lightness of a heavy life. It is breathtaking.