Haringesque 10x10x10 art by Tennessee Loveless
Haringesque is another wonderful piece from the 10x10x10 series by Tennessee Loveless, and will be featured in his new retrospective biography soon to be published by Disney Publishing!
From Tennessee: Keith was born on May 4th, 1958 in Reading, PA and raised 17 miles north in the small town of Kutztown. He was influenced to draw by his father Allen who was an amateur cartoonist, and was fascinated with Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz, and the animators of Disney and Looney Tunes. Later on in his late teenage years, he was influenced beyond commercial cartoonists, and focused his inspirations on fine artists like Alechinsky, Pollock, Tobey, and quite heavily with Jean Dubuffet. Keith would end up going to school both in Pittsburg at the Ivy School of Professional Art, and later the infamous SVA (School of Visual Arts) in New York City.
It was here in New York where Keith took to the streets with his work, often using the NYC subway system as his gallery. He befriended emerging artists like Kenny Scharf and Basquiat , as well as the most prominent pop icon of the time, Andy Warhol. These relationships, plus his endless need to work, garnered him immediate success, and he skyrocketed into the art world elite in just a few years. Haring’s lack of need for permission to be accepted in the art world both baffled and infuriated art critics.
His work itself was unapologetic, which both garnered him shock value fame in the art world, and reverence with those in New York City itself. His career was meteoric, jetsetting him across the globe to work in museums, concert halls, and famous galleries. He designed clothes for movies, music videos, and famous singers. His work transformed from graffiti, to fine art, to public works, to consumer advertising, and finally to consumer products.
In 1986, Haring opening the “Pop Shop” on 292 Lafayette Street in SoHo. This store provided a venue for all of Keith’s work to be interpreted onto merchandise and random consumer products.
In his words: “I wanted to continue the same sort of communication as with the subway drawings. I wanted to attract the same wide range of people and I wanted it to be a place where, yes, not only collectors could come, but also kids from the Bronx.. this was still an art statement”
I find it amusing that the art world elite attempted to scold Haring as a sell out. In fact it, the complete opposite was the case. Haring, while grateful for his exposure and the financial success that came with it, wasn’t going to give up who he was and what he believed in for the almighty dollar. He certainly wasn’t wasn’t going to dismiss his humble beginnings or his socio-political views to save face with the wealthy. Haring wasn’t making a profit from the public to sell out, instead he wanted to create affordable accessibility of his works to the masses.
This is not the work of an opportunist.
This is the work of an egalitarian.