Tate Modern Uses Keith Haring's Original Journals in Short Film

As part of the museum’s ongoing “TateShots” series.

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TateShots, a series of short films exploring art and artists, has released a new video on Keith Haring. Utilizing quotes from his original journals kept between 1971 and 1989, ‘I’m Glad I’m Different’ offers insight into the life of an artist whose iconic style came to mark New York City’s street culture in the 1980s.

Voiced by Kyle Soller, the film explores how graffiti, pop art and hip hop culture inspired Haring’s work. “I wanted to let people experience art without having to feel inhibited,” the artist wrote. “It is art that is somewhat less serious and less untouchable.” He worked alongside like-minded artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, designed fashion lines with Vivienne Westwood and created record covers for David Bowie.

Creating art that responded to social and political issues such as racism, homophobia, AIDS awareness and drug addiction, Haring tackled challenging subjects in a simplified and accessible way. Haring wrote, “I hope my generation will be able to carry on the “magic” that this previous generation has excavated and gently tried to teach us. They have liberated a part of us that is too important to be dismissed and passed over.”

Watch TateShots’ entire video on Keith Haring above.

In related news, Keith Haring’s 85-foot Grace House mural will go up for auction next month.

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‘My dad made cartoon characters for me, and they were very similar to the way I started to draw – with one line and a cartoon outline.'⁣ ⁣ ⁣ #KeithHaring (1958-90) is renowned for his deceptively simple cartoon-inspired icons, symptomatic of the energy and spirit of the decade he was working in. As a child, he greatly enjoyed drawing with his father, and dogs were a favourite subject of his. ? As an adult, the barking dog became a familiar motif and one of Haring's most recognisable images. The dog conjures ideas of both a protector and a predator, barking as a call to attention, as a warning, as an outburst of anger or of excitement. Throughout his lifetime, certain images, symbols and themes appeared regularly in his work, which were significant for a variety of reasons. He became interested in semiotics – the study of signs and symbols – motivated by an interest in making work that was socially resonant and communicative. His feeling was that he had 'created a reality that is not complete until it is met with the ideas of another human being.'⁣⁣ ⁣ See today's story to explore the work of Keith Haring in 7 key signs and symbols — on display at @tateliverpool until 10 November 2019.

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