The epic tale of the University of Wisconsin LaCrosse Printmaking Program. The Printmaking program is directed by Joel Elgin and features the odd collection of the many PrintFools who enroll, print and exist from semester to semester in the Shop of Tears.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Keith Haring. Taking your woodcuts to the mean streets...


PrintFools,
As you replace the mean and ugly across the city of LaCrosse with your own beautiful woodcut self portraits look back on the life of Keith Haring:

  
Untitled 1983
Woodcut
24 x 30 inches

Totem 1989
75 1/2 x 35 inches







Drawing 1982
Chalk on paper



Some relevant Keith quotes:

“By 1984 the subway [drawings] started to backfire, because everyone was stealing the pieces. I’d go down and draw in the subway, and two hours later every piece would be gone. They were turning up for sale.”

 
“A more holistic and basic idea of wanting to incorporate [art] into every part of life, less as an egotistical exercise and more natural somehow. I don’t know how to exactly explain it. Taking it off the pedestal. I’m giving it back to the people, I guess.”


Like the best of Printmakers, Keith was a genuinely nice guy. I spent a day with him installing his prints at the University of Iowa Museum. I hung the work and he told stories and asked lots of questions about intaglio. He hadn't done much copper work and I'm not sure if he ever had time to do any before he died about five years later. Go here for more on Keith: 
 





23 comments:

Dewayne Wrencher said...

I can imagine people walking into the subways and seeing the work of Keith Haring and stop even if only for a moment they break away from their routine of move, move and move.

Elizabeth Rose Bowman said...

Don't Die!
Don't Get AIDS!

-are things my mom, Toxic Jonetta, used to say to me, which seems fitting.

Keith Haring was a super rad guy and a super rad artist.

E said...

“A more holistic and basic idea of wanting to incorporate [art] into every part of life, less as an egotistical exercise and more natural somehow. I don’t know how to exactly explain it. Taking it off the pedestal. I’m giving it back to the people, I guess.”

I always think that the returning the art to the streets and to the people is a powerful way of thinking. Most artists set out to do something amazing, to change the world, or to send a message to a broader audience.

Speaking of public art if you havent seen or heard about the inside out project that the artist "JR" has done, check it out.

http://www.insideoutproject.net/#@section=home

-KIRKYB-
#itsyaboy

Kristine said...

I really like the idea of puting art back into daily life - not as something you go to see but something thats all around you. And although I can understand people stealing the art off the walls (who wouldn't want it for themselves)it takes that gift aways from other people especially when that free gift is then sold as a commodity. On the other hand, thats life. People jack your shit, and that may in some ways enhance the the artwork. Definetly an interesting subject.

ashley said...

The simplicity is eye catching. It is too bad that people feel the need to steal art for money rather than allow it to be shared time after time. However it is fascinating to me that people find art worth stealing. It's value is still powerful.

Dean Johnson said...

Although the style isnt really that of my own, the idea of filling the streets with art is a cool one. It would be cool to see different arts during regular, daily life.

Lexi said...

I really enjoyed the simplicity of his work and i like the whole idea of art on the streets. something to stop and make us think in such a fast pace busy world. but stealing the work is terrible its meant for everyone to see for FREE!

mandy said...

Love his work. Very simplistic yet powerful. His use of color is very dramatic and eye-catching. I love that he reinforces the idea that art is all around us, it is just a matter of us stopping to make time for it in our busy schedules.

Clint Tudahl said...

I really like how clean and simple his woodcuts are. The way he draws outlines of people is very distinct.

Kate Knower said...

I love the simple lines and shapes. I really admire the idea to cover the world with your artwork. I would love to create art to display publicly like this that is so open to interpretation that even my own views of them would constantly be changing. Cool stuff!

Ben said...

This man, Keith, he has some solid work. I like the graphic style. It reminds me of like ancient iconography mixed with modern street/warning signs. Taking art to the streets is a liberating thing. To break free from the gallery setting and expose your work to a wider audience is preferable a lot of times.

rOMa said...

I've always been intrigued by the idea of spreading social art in public. Years ago, a small group of us made a ton of posters with artwork and social/political messages and put them up all over campus. They were all torn down within a couple of days, but people looked at them, so it was an empowering thing. I liked what Haring said about his subway drawings-he knew they'd probably be temporary, it was more just about doing them and giving people something to think about.

If any of you fools like this stuff and haven't read anything by Kalle Lasn, you should. That dude fucks with billboards! Who's ready to step up to the criminal level? :D

Chelsey Heintz said...

Haring's idea of putting art back into everyday life is one I admire. We need to do more of this. I don't just want to go to a gallery or museum to see art. I want to see it wherever I go.

Sweet Marissa said...

I like that Haring’s work was made accessible to a wide variety of people, other than those who would have the time and money to go to a gallery. It's also a way to force people to look at your work :) The color woodcuts are pretty cool.So much line…so crispy…

megan said...

Some of his work reminds me of ancient cave art in their simplicity of line. Pretty cool. I'd like to see art like that in public places everywhere! Refreshing.

Elizabeth Rose Bowman said...

More like Herring.

andrew musil said...

The apocalypse 1988 series with burroughs is strange. I wonder if he had any assistance with his creativity..

Taylor Schroeder said...

I really like the principles behind his work, as well as the actual work he produces as well. A lot of his work is very simple but still has quite a bit of gesture to it as well. It definitely speaks to his social liberating movement. It gives quite a message in a quick time, but he definitely knows how to get his point across.

Dani W said...

This idea of putting art all over the world is amazing. Check out this artist who paint portraits of people and leaves them only to be taken by the person that was painted. http://www.psfk.com/2012/09/artist-street-portraits.html Her name is Nicole Bourgea. She is pretty awesome. Cannot wait to see all your faces all over town.

Emily Ordway said...

I love Keith Haring! I remember when his work would be on sesame street, way back in the day, what a guy. I think public art is an awesome concept, and adds a whole new element to a work, which would be viewed much differently than if just in a gallery. You can just tell keith's work from his very recognizable style, which clepto people probably caught onto very quickly...

Kinden Kraeger said...

He has such clear woodcuts. I'm cutting right now and it does not look as good at all. Maybe the key is super sharp knives.

Jules said...

Really great woodcuts. So glad you got to pick his brain!

Rachel said...

He seems like he would be a pretty nice guy. Not sure I'm really into his prints though.