The Keith Haring Mural consists of a large panel, 7.4 x 11.5 metres on a cement rendered wall at the eastern end of the former Collingwood Technical School. The New York artist Keith Haring visited Melbourne in March 1984, during this time he created a number of works, the most lasting of which is the Mural on the side of Collingwood Technical School.
Keith Haring (1958-1990) was an important member of the New York art scene of the early 1980s, this movement incorporated Hip Hop, graffiti, and gay culture. Haring was an openly gay artist at a time when this was still gaining acceptance, he was also a sufferer of AIDS and a campaigner for the acceptance of those with AIDS. Drawing on graffiti and hip hop culture Haring created art that had far reaching influence.
His visit to Melbourne, early in his short career, was to influence a number of young artists. His strong graphic style and its application in many forms, album covers, murals, tee shirts, permanent works of art was also influential, as was his interest in 'public art'. The Collingwood mural draws directly on popular culture for its themes and form. The Collingwood mural is one of the few Haring murals that still exist of the number he executed across the world and the only extant work from his visit to Australia. The Mural was one of a number of projects Haring undertook during his visit. More temporary was a mural on the glass water windows at the National Gallery of Victoria on St Kilda road.
John Buckley the inaugural director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and sponsor of Haring's visit to Melbourne, approached Collingwood Technical College, that had a convenient wall for Haring to create a more permanent work. The mural is a large work of art, on a cement rendered wall, with a yellow background and red, blue and green figures. The upper half of the mural depicts a hybrid man/computer monster, ridden by two human figures, this was a comment on technology and television. The lower half of the mural consists of vibrant dancing figures, reflecting an interest in the contemporary rap/hip hop movement of the period. Its themes and treatment are typical of Haring's work at the time.
This post is part of the Monday Mellow Yellows meme,
and also part of the Monday Murals meme.