I love cute images/drawings/paintings of people, so as you can imagine I’m a huge Keith Haring fan. When I found out about a special exhibit of his work at the Musée d’art contemporain in Lyon, I had to go. This was an exhibit like no other. The entire museum (3 stories) was filled with his work – over 250 pieces, including a number of huge paintings. There was also a slide-show of some of his sidewalk art; a movie about his murals in New York, Chicago, and Pisa (yes, as in Leaning Tower of); a room covered in photographs of his life and art in New York; and the actual Tokyo Pop Shop. It was spectacular.
Seeing so much of his art in one place was fantastic, but it was also fascinating to learn more about him. I knew that he died of AIDS, but I hadn’t known that a lot of people thought his Pop Shop made him a sell-out. In fact, what he wanted was to make his art accessible to as many people as possible (he had stopped doing paper drawings in subway stations and such when people started stealing them) and he donated most of his profits to charity, notably for AIDS research. I just wish it had been enough to save his life.