Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Keith Haring sculpture arrives at 51 Astor Place



51 Astor Place, already sporting a Jeff Koons lobby rabbit, is home for now to this Keith Haring sculpture.

Workers this morning were preparing to install the "Self Portrait" from 1989.





No word at the moment if the sculpture (a replica?) is on loan or will be here permanently on Third Avenue at St. Mark's Place ...

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

tag magnet and should be

catt55 said...

And Haring is rolling in his grave

Anonymous said...

Does anyone care to explain why he's such a highly-regarded artist? I've never found his work to be whimsical or meaningful.

Anonymous said...

Horrid. Monstrous. Boring. All at once.
Please use this for scrap metal. A tree would be far more attractive.

"Works" like this are what have made the world of art a joke, instead of an inspiring form of aesthetic expression.

- East Villager

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Keith Haring sucks. I know from "whimsy," so if you need me I'll be at my local all-pudding restaurant. Now that place is the bomb.

Patricia Ivers said...

Haring was a genius.

Anonymous said...

I really, really hate what this neighborhood is becoming.

Kurt said...

Is this where we sign up for the Grinch auditions?

Anonymous said...

Whimsical, sure. Meaningful, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Haring was a genius marketer, getting busted for his chalk drawings on the subway platforms was just the start of the PR machine. Easy to "understand" art much just like Warhol before him the uptown and downtown crowds loved it. He was safe, non threatening as was his art and as we all know that is the definition of corporate art. He was the Taylor Swift of that time. RIP Keith.

Anonymous said...

Patricia,

Please explain why you think he was a genius. Back up your claim. I'm open to hearing your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:16 AM
Well yeah, except for all his pieces portraying fucking in the ass, dick sucking, assassinating Reagan, assassinating The Pope, et al.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:16

'the Taylor Swift of that time'?

False equivalency, yes. Fair comparison...no fucking way.

RJJNY said...

I'd argue Haring created a vibrant visual language that connected instantly with many, many people all over the world (a language that drew on the energy of NYC at the time, including the East Village). And that that's the main reason he was a success and is highly regarded by a lot of people. His work was very popular with kids, who tend to lack the baggage adults can bring to art appreciation. Several tons of that baggage seem apparent in this thread.

He did a lot of political work right from the start, including anti-apartheid, human rights, environmental, and on AIDS. The show in Paris (last year I think, now on at the de Young in San Francisco) highlights that work. Not exactly "corporate art." He got a lot of criticism from the highbrow art world for commercialism when he created the Pop Shop in order to be able to sell his imagery to regular people at affordable prices. I think he'd be pretty happy that stores like Uniqlo continue that tradition by collaborating with the Haring Foundation.

Don't think he did that much sculpture, but one single piece in front of an architectural monstrosity doesn't do any justice to that aspect of his work. When several were exhibited on the median of Park Ave back in 97 I thought they looked beautiful.

The NY Lesbian & Gay Center still has the incredible mural he did for them on display if anyone wants to go compare his output to Taylor Swift's.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Nothing says a building's IMPORTANT and a neighborhood's ARRIVED like a Koons AND a Haring!

Anonymous said...

@1010:59
"@ 10:16 AM
Well yeah, except for all his pieces portraying fucking in the ass, dick sucking, assassinating Reagan, assassinating The Pope, et al."

This is none of those pieces but instead something that could be found in a McDonald's playground off an interstate exit, proving my point. Safe, dull corporate and branded.

Anonymous said...

Don't like it...cube much better...

Anonymous said...

@1:46 PM

O.P. (you?) wasn't talking about "this piece".
He was talking about the artist himself, and his body of work.
Re-read his (your?) original comment).

Anonymous said...

At least it's an an artist who lived and worked in the East Village.

Crazy Eddie said...

The uplifted arm needs a big middle finger on the rounded hand. That would be nice.

4:05 pm said...

The uplifted arm is missing a GoPro selfie pole.

Crazy Eddie said...

Hey 4.05 PM, how about both? Many interpretations possible. And isn't that what art is all about?

Anonymous said...

@RJJNY: By "baggage" are you referring to the experience and knowledge that can only be achieved over time? The "baggage" that would let one evaluate something within a context?

If so, I'll take baggage over cluelessness. The emperor isn't wearing any clothes (and in this case is painted green).

That said, I do still appreciate his "crack is wack" mural on the FDR Drive.

Anonymous said...

Nothing says clueless art snob like dumping on the work of a popular and respected dead artist. But then it's so much easier being snarky than it is making art

Gojira said...

More art for the kindergarten kiddy crowd. If it's not shiny and simplified, they don't understand it. Sad.

Anonymous said...

@12:36am: Ah, but some of us *do* make art, and therefore know what's crap and what isn't.

Boodiba said...

Ya that shit is tacky & butt ugly. I hope it gets defaced immediately and relentlessly until whoever is responsible for the installation is forced to give up & remove it.

Anonymous said...

@10:53 am And some people wouldn't know their ass from their elbow if their elbow was shoved halfway up their ass. Now that's the kind of sculpure I'm sure people around here would really appreciate.

Mosura said...

"Gojira said...
More art for the kindergarten kiddy crowd. If it's not shiny and simplified, they don't understand it. Sad."

Keith Haring was an important member of the East Village community. Someone who contributed to the early 80s atmosphere you old EV Grieve grumps say you miss. He was a wonderful person who would give the shirt off his back to anyone who needed help. He never forgot his friends or his neighborhood after he made it. So you don't like this particular piece, so what? Don't dump all over his legacy.

Benny from da Bronx said...

Incredible, complaining about the work of Keith Haring? A local artist who actually made it into museums and galleries around the world? And at the same time complaining about a local street artist named Chico because his style isn't up to your high standards? So only artists can know what really is art, but we don't see your art around here anywhere now do we? Then as if that wasn't enough dumping on local places like DeRobertis and Yaffa cafe? All of these were part of the EV for decades, all of them are going or gone. Too bad you didn't all enjoy them, they were great while they were still here.

Anonymous said...

@10:53AM
Ah, but some of us *do* make art, and therefore know what's crap and what isn't.

HAHAHA! Wooo (wiping tear of laughter) That's a good one!

Anonymous said...

@Boobida

Haring would have no problem with that piece being tagged-up head to toe. (Most of his sculpture work was).
Wouldn't surprise me at all if that was the purpose of this piece.

Anonymous said...

Nobody is questioning Haring's roots in the EV or saying is was not a good guy. Some of us think however this work is shit. Haring was NOT a sculptor and this piece shows his lack of skill in the 3D world. Pieces like this were made for public spaces which include corporate buildings such as the (death star) Watson building. The choice was not an accident, Haring was a "downtown" artist in the 80's which most people can agree what the height of the cool east village. This work is bland besides it coloration (another area Haring was really weak at) it is there trying show the building as a hip place in a long past hip neighborhood. Again we are dissing this work not Haring's character or body of work.

Anonymous said...

This isn't even about Keith Haring the artist god rest his soul. This is about Keith Haring the legacy, which like those of many other great deceased artists, tends to get co-opted by moneyed douchebags attempting to elevate their own cachet by paying exorbitant prices for original artwork.

Emily Litella said...

What's all this fuss I hear about a herring sculpture? Everyone loves herring! Herring are so tasty with potatoes, or salad, or potato salad. I can take a picture of a herring, or draw a herring, so why can't I sculpt a herring? Maybe it's okay to have a sardine sculpture? Or an anchovy sculpture? Whoever heard of such...

What?

Nevermind.

NOTORIOUS said...

It's less about the work of Keith Haring and more about this corporate plaza selecting a very safe piece of Haring's work and creating a very sanitary experience.

Anonymous said...

I think what folks are upset about is the context. Haring is dead. He has no control over where his art is now placed. And it is a place not particularly hospitable to East Villagers.

One should argue with his money-grubbing totally insensitive to-the-highest-bidder estate.

But that building needs far more than Haring to set it right. Maybe an original Chico fresco can add to the Watson's edgy appeal.

Google me some art, damnit!

HippieChick said...

Keith Haring and Jeff Koons. Yeah, right. A few words: puerile. Childish. Pretentious. Unsophisticated. Untalented. A few more words: Rembrandt. Van Gogh. Caravaggio. Van Dyck. Turner. That is all.

Hare Extraordinaire said...

This is nothing about the art or artist.. This is more about the owner of the art flaunting his acquisition and possession. No one here has mentioned that while this is being erected, the Alamo was being shipped-off. The LAlamo Cube attracted the punks, skateboarders and bohemians. This "Selfie' will attract the opposite of that spectrum, the yuppies, bland, unimaginative, selfish consumers.

Moreover, this is to attract tenants in Death Star that wants to be hip and cool; and these are the ones that buy their hipness and coolness. No appreciation of art except that it's another commodity for them to consume. Of course the irony of this is that these tenants were first attracted to the EV for certain characteristics but in doing so, they build things that destroy the very things that they were attracted to.

Thus, they replace it with something that they deem cool because it was in an era that the EV was actually cool. They want to partake in the hip nature of the East Village but what they're really doing is turning the EV into midtown, hence Midtown South.

Anonymous said...

@5:40pm: Precisely! "Ordinary" people are no longer allowed to exist, much less flourish, in our hyped-up city. Now only the "winners" (who take all) get to decide what matters and what public art we'll look at.

Next step: we'll be practicing tugging our forelocks in acknowledgement of their superiority.

Scooby said...

BRING BACK THE CUBE NOW (all respect to Keith)