Sunday, November 8, 2009
Fall of the Berlin Wall
This week on November 9th much of the world is celebrating the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall (1989). For me, when thinking about all the graffiti and other art on the Berlin Wall, the person that immediately comes into my mind, one of the most interesting, innovative, and politically active artists of the late 20th-century, is Keith Haring. In 1986 during a trip to Berlin, Mr. Haring painted a mural on a rainy day, after the skies cleared, and under the watchful eye of east German soldiers at the Brandenburg Gate. Keith Haring spoke in a language of symbols and signs that were universal enough to apply to anybody, anywhere in the world, free from limitations of language or even educational background. His messages, although often covering serious and grim topics, like the separation of Germany or Apartheid in South Africa, were always positive and rang of the unification of human beings rather than negativity or art merely for shock value.
Keith Haring's work was always focused on the line, which he created, without any preparatory work, at a staggeringly quick pace that would make most people stand rapt in awe and turn green with envy. His work was simple but not simplistic, a skill that is not easy to achieve. He made works which spoke to us in a humanistic way and that encouraged us to better the world with utmost sincerity. He felt art and artists were responsible for pushing forth ideas and using their talents to bring awareness to the masses and often to help those who needed the world's attention the most.
An excellent but short documentary on Keith Haring is "Drawing the Line: a Portrait of Keith Haring" if you are interested in finding out more about this amazing artist who was gone far too soon.
May inspiration and creativity be with you!