Category Archives: New York

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‘Art Is for Everybody': The Life and Work of Keith Haring

It’s hard to think of a contemporary artist who’s had more of an impact on American culture than Keith Haring. Born on May 4th, 1958 in Reading, Pennsylvania, Haring’s artistic skill was evident from a very early age. He was captivated by the drawings of illustrators like Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney, and these influences can be seen in a great deal of his adult work. Although simple and cartoonish, his drawings were often highly symbolic and imbued with deep political meaning, tackling issues pertaining to race, sexuality, class, and drug culture.

via subwayartblog.com

However, his art was never inaccessible; he wanted his work to communicate with everyone, not just the stuffy art crowds, and it’s easy to see this desire in his bold, youthful style. Throughout his short career, Haring devoted much of his time to cultivating a truly “public” art. From 1982 to 1989 he produced more than 50 public artworks in dozens of cities around the world. He famously tagged images all over the NYC subway system after moving there in 1978.

Haring used these spaces to contend with the difficult and taboo issues of the 80s, such as sexuality. Much of his work featured human forms in strange and twisted positions and explored how the human body was enriched, threatened, and manipulated by sex and desire. Another big focus of Haring’s work was the AIDS crisis. As an openly gay man, Haring had a vested interest in the rights of the LGBT community, and some of his best work directly confronted the repression AIDS victims suffered in the 1980s. “Silence=Death” is perhaps the most well-known of these pieces.

via flickr.com

 

Unfortunately, Haring succumbed to the same illness he spoke out for in 1990. Although he died far too young, Haring’s work has gone on to have a rich and diverse afterlife, one that continues to nurture and inspire artists today.

Featured image via pcpmedia.us

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Artists that Define the ’80s

Jean Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol were pioneers in the Pop Art and Neo-expressionism movements of the 80’s. Both Basquiat and Warhol single-handedly revolutionized the art world, and are in the constant thoughts of many who love the 80’s and art.

Jean Michel Basquiat was a Brooklyn born artist that began his career in art by spray painting graffiti around New York City streets. Basquiat’s art centered around power structures, racism, class struggles, and many other social and moral in-justices. His art revolutionized a movement in the 80’s that left a massive foot print on the 80s.

Even after Jean Michel Basquiat’s death in 1988, his art defined not only the decade of the 80’s, but continues to be a major influence in today’s world of painting and art.

Andy Warhol is no stranger to Jean Michel Basquiat. The two were such good friends that when Andy Warhol died, Basquiat went into a whirl of depression, and subsequently overdosed on heroin.

Warhol is another iconic figure who’s art defined the 80’s. Between his work of Marilyn Monroe and the infamous Campbell’s Soup work, Andy Warhol’s work and his memorable quotes that go with it like “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” or “I’m afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.”

It is because of both Jean Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol that we remember not just the incredible work they did in the 80’s, but how their work continues to remind us of that great decade, and how it continues to inspire.

And now there is an app game that reminds us about the 80’s, too! Guess the 80’s is here to bring back that loving feeling the 80’s gave you! And here you will find the best Guess the 80’s cheats!

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The Museum of the City of New York- “City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection”

Originally born in San Francisco, Martin Wong moved to New York City in the late 1970s during the big graffiti boom. He was both a graffiti art collector and an artist himself, painting in the East Village art scene. Though he passed away 15 years ago, he endowed his extensive collection to the Museum of the City of New York in 1994, with work from prominent artists in this movement including Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones, Lady Pink, and Futura 2000.

The exhibition will run through August 24th, displaying close to 150 original drawings, paintings and sketchbooks, as well as photographs of works that have long been removed from the streets of New York City. These pieces come from one of the largest collections of New York street art, each speaking their own story in a electrifying way, uniquely cultivated by the conditions from which it was created.

Though mainstream New York’s fascination of graffiti faded with time, James Wong’s passion for this art form persisted and in 1989, he opened his own Museum of American Graffiti on Bond Street. Although this endeavor of his remained open for just a short 6 months, the resurgence of Wong’s collection in the Museum of the City of New York today speaks to the vivacious resilience of the nature of graffiti.

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A-One, “Untitled” (1984)

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Lady Pink, “The Death of Graffiti” (1982)

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Lee Quiñones, “Howard the Duck” (1988)

Featured image by Zephyr, “Untitled” (1984)
All images courtesy The Museum of the City of New York
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American Museum of Natural History – The Power of Poison Exhibit Now Open Nov 16 – Aug 10

The Power of Poison exhibit is currently running at the American Museum of Natural History. The exhibit covers different kinds of poisons and how these lethal substances are used in nature, in storytelling and in human history.

Explore the exhibit before it closes on Aug 10, 2014. You’ll find a surprising number of poisonous species in the wildlife section, from plants to insects and reptiles. Learn about the different ways animals use poisons as a crucial tool to protect and feed themselves.

There will also be a plethora of information around dissecting myths and legends surrounding poison. Find out if there is any truth to these fascinating tall tales. There will also be a selection of curious cases of poisoning – many of which remain mysteries to this day.

Finally, Power of Poison will go into the secrets of poison and how they are being used in modern medicine and science. You’ll be shocked to know how much we can learn about our body, our cells and healing and regeneration, just by studying the toxic effects of the world’s many poisons.

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Breaking – The Met’s Inagurila Costume Institute Event: Charles James: Beyond Fashion

The Met (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) has recently announced that it will showcase an exhibit of the late Charles James’ work in fashion design. Charles James: Beyond Fashion will showcase on May 8th, which will also be the inaugural exhibition of the newly restructured Costume Institute. Museum paramours and fashion-addicts can observe the illustrious career of Charles James (1906-1978) until August 10th, 2014.

James began designing in London, where he was born and raised. He moved to Paris where he continued to perfect his craft and hone—before arriving in New York City in 1940. James had no formal training, but is now regarded as one of the greatest and most influential designers in the style of Houte Couture. His infatuation with complex cuts and odd seaming led to the birth of many key design elements, which were updated throughout his life – Figure-eight skirts, Ribbon Capes and dresses, and Poufs are some of the many few pioneering cuts James sculpted.

Much of the exhibition will focus and explore many of Charles James’ designs, his process, the focus and craftsmanship he put into each design, the science behind it, and the advance mathematical approach that went into constructing ball gowns that not only innovated—but revolutionized today’s gowns.

Charles James: Beyond Fashion will be presented and shown in two different locations – The New Costume Institute, and Special Exhibition Galleries on the Museum’s main first floor. The first-floor will spotlight the allure and magnificent architecture of James’ ball gowns—from the 1930s to the 1950s, including his most iconic gowns – “Tree,” “Swan,” “Diamond,” and “Butterfly.”

The New Costume Institute’s Lizze and Jonathan Tish Gallery will showcase the technology and elasticity to emphasize James’ life via sketches, pattern types, and his partially completed work from his last studio, which happen to be his final resting spot – The Chelsea Hotel in New York City.

Both exhibition locations will have video animations to help elucidate the creative process that went into each and every dress, which ultimately redefined the female body and figure.

Charles James – A man so great that he was given two first names. And after seeing Charles James: Beyond Fashion, you’ll understand his greatness.

metropolitan museum of art

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Name: Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)

Address: 1000 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10028

Phone: (212) 535-7710

Website: http://www.metmuseum.org/

Hours:

  • Tuesday–Thursday: 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday: 9:30 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • Closed Monday (except Met Holiday Mondays), Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1