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Day 1: Joe Bobowicz

published on 1 February 2019

On day one of his 'pride' themed Tumblr takeover, SHOWstudio Editorial Assistant Joe Bobowicz celebrates the life and work of artist Keith Haring.

On day one of his 'pride' themed Tumblr takeover, SHOWstudio Editorial Assistant Joe Bobowicz celebrates the life and work of artist Keith Haring.

In my pride came discovery; an entry-point to a world that I came to love. In this curation I will chart the art, fashion, music and culture that has shaped me and given me a space to feel understood, unashamed and above all gay.

Find out more about Joe Bobowicz here.

Untitled, 19 November 1978, graphite on paper Naturally, I begin with Keith Haring, an individual whose work has become so ubiquitous, that often its very foundations are dismissed.
Silence = Death, 1989, acrylic on canvas A painting that serves as a reminder of the role Haring played as an artist during the New York AIDS crisis. Utilising his democratic appeal for good, he was making unforgettable art to save lives. Something about this work that perturbs me - for which I am grateful - is the use of the pink triangle: a symbol used in the Nazi holocaust regime to mark out homosexuals.
Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Sachsenhausen, Germany, 19 December, 1938. Photo c/o Corbis.
Untitled, 1988, acrylic on canvas The ‘gay plague’ was wiping us out in like manner to the swastika bearing-bastards half a century before.
Keith Haring and Adolfo Arena, The Body Positive magazine cover, May 1989 On 16 February 1990, Haring died from AIDS related complications. Haring had been diagnosed with the HIV virus in 1988. In his words, ‘the T-cells had dropped dramatically, meaning that now I fit the classifications of actually having AIDS. It was a reality that it was beginning to happen to me and now I had to deal with it. At first you’re completely wrecked … I went over to the East River and cried and cried and cried. But then, it’s like, you have to go on.’
Closing Night, Paradise Garage, New York, 1987 Haring was an ardent fan of Paradise Garage, a private club with a strict door policy. On Saturdays, the crowd was mostly black and gay. It was here that legendary disc jockey Larry Levan would play his sets, known by revellers as ‘Saturday Mass’.
An excerpt from a decade of i-Deas, the encyclopedia of the ‘80s, compiled and produced by i-D magazine
Keith Haring and Juan Dubose, Andy Warhol I took a photo of this work at Sotheby’s because its tenderness sung to me. Dubose was a deejay and a lover of Haring’s. Dubose also died of AIDS related complications.
The Great White Way, 27 November 1988, acrylic on canvas
The Keith Haring mural at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center, New York, 1989
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