A metal beam turned into a work of art by Keith Haring

The following pictures show several views of a several meter long metal beam with a Keith Haring drawing. The american artist is well known for his stylized figures who look like road signs figures. He drew on all kinds of surfaces: on tarpaulins, walls, vases or here on a metal beam.

Keith Haring, Beam, 1982

On this marker drawing, figures are running to escape barking dogs. They are fleeing but at the same time they are laughing in the face of danger: some figures are turning cartwheels and other are giving a high five.

Keith Haring, Beam, 1982

In my mind it could evoke street artists fleeing the polive, given that Keith Haring started his career by drawing on subway advertising panels in New York and he was several time arrested by the police. However this work of art is untitled so it is open to interpretation.

Keith Haring, Beam, 1982

Keith Haring used symbols. The simple figure has no distinguishing feature. He represents the human being in general. The barking dog represents an oppressor. That being said, Keith Haring never gave the keys to his visual language so that people can see what they want in it.

You can admire this decorated beam and many other works of art at the exhibition “Keith Haring The political line” in Paris until August 18 2013. I have found this exhibition very interesting. It evokes New York art scene in the eighties and shows that Keith Haring was a committed artist. Indeed he expressed himself on racism, oppression by state and religion, fear of a nuclear war and aids that was decimating New York gay community at that time. Before this exhibition I didn’t know that Keith Haring colorful and happy drawings also tackled darker and more complex subjects.

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