Artist and activist Keith Haring was one of the most legendary figures of the '80s pop art scene. The artist gained international fame as he began using his work to promote LGBTQ visibility and HIV/Aids awareness. Haring's works are exhibited in museums all over the world, but, curiously, the only museum dedicated to his artwork is in the city of Hokuto, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. Now, you can the see the collection for free from the comfort of your couch.
The private museum which houses the Nakamura Keith Haring Collection is an award-winning piece of architecture. The collection has about 300 works by the artist and its new online exhibition features 160 items, including photographs of Haring as well as his iconic pop art.
As you pore over each piece, you’ll notice the signature motifs that Haring used regularly in his work, such as UFOs, dogs and the ‘Radiant Baby’ that Haring created to represent ideas like goodness and youthful innocence. The series also features a number of works that Haring designed for social movements, including the ‘Crack Down’ benefit poster made to combat the drug problem in New York City and a ‘Free South Africa’ poster which was distributed to protest apartheid.
The Nakamura Keith Haring Collection was established in 2007 by Dr Kazuo Nakamura, who first began collecting Haring's work in 1987. In addition to showcasing his artworks, the museum also hosts regular workshops and events to honour Haring’s passion for education and philanthropy.
This article was published on May 20 2020 and updated on April 15 2021.
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