On ninth of October, @K11musea commemorated its first anniversary by collaborating with @phillipsauction and one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Keith Haring, to curate an extraordinary presentation called ‘Keith Haring: Falling Up’ at the new K11 MUSEA Art & Culture Centre in Hong Kong. The exhibition encompassed paintings and memorabilia from the artist along with some guest appearances from Phillips’s latest collection. The works presented featured some of the Hering’s most celebrated pieces, like:
Red-Yellow-Blue #2 (Overlap acrylic on canvas. 1988). This work references Haring’s fascinations with Picasso, particularly Spanish painter’s interpretation of African tribal art. The painting features the elements of Maori tattoos concealed under a coat of black acrylic and organized in a way very typical of Haring’s whimsical style.
Untitled (Overlap acrylic on canvas. 1985) could not be more relevant today. The painting is a direct reference to one of Haring's earlier works titled Michael Stewart—(USA FOR AFRICA) - an homage to the brutal death of New York-based graffiti artist, Michael Stewart. The work explores the themes of seemingly never-ending racial bias and police brutality.
The Fertility Suite (Five screenprints in colours, on wove paper. 1983). One of the most prominent works from 1983’s Keith Haring. The collection of five prints depicts children as “the purest and most positive experience of human existence.” The work, drowning in neons, tells the story of the miracle of childbirth and was largely inspired by Haring’s friends who were having children at the time of the piece’s conception.
On ninth of October @k11musea unveiled its exhibition in collaboration with @phillipsauction , and, apart from Keith Haring, the star of the show, the lineup featured some of the most prominent works from Phillips’s collection.
NO FUTURE COMPANION (Black chrome coated metal). KAWS x Hajime Sorayama. Hajime Sorayama joined forces with KAWS to reimagine the signature cartoonish figurine through the prism of retrofuturism. The sculpture evokes the digital avatars from the early aughts with its exaggerated limbs, while its chrome finish creates this extra level of references.
Eroded Telephone Future Relic (Hydrostone and quartz crystals). Daniel Arsham x Dior. Arsham’s works are largely projections of the future executed in stone and crystals. This specimen reveals Dior’s logo on its dial that’s partially destroyed by quartz crystals growing through it.
Classic Robot SURF (Mixed media, alloy). Hajime Sorayama. This work is based on Sorayama’s painting done back in 1984. The sculpture depicts a robot riding a wave as an eccentric tribute to the end of the bronze age of comics and as a powerful showcase of the artist’s ability to balance aesthetic with function.
Keith Haring: Falling Up exhibition curated by @k11musea and @phillipsauction has brought together some of the brightest minds of 20th century and contemporary art: Banksy, Condo and KAWS to name a few.
Bomb Love (Screenprint in colours on wove paper). Banksy. 2003. Also known as Bomb Hugger or Bomb Girl, Bomb Love is one of the artist’s earlier works. In this screenprint, Banksy once again looks at war through the prism of satire. In this piece, a silhouette of a girl is seen hugging a military aircraft bomb that barely fits into her petite arms, while the bubblegum pink background accentuates the juxtaposition of the frightening against the whimsical.
Droopy Dog Abstraction (Screenprint in colours, on Coventry Rag paper). George Condo. 2017. George Condo’s whimsical, hideous and frightening characters is a profound intersection of cubism and pop art. Through the grotesque details and crass faces, Condo echoes his mentor, Andy Warhol, while some of the finer nuances reference the works of Rembrandt and Caravagio.
YOU SHOULD KNOW I KNOW (Screenprint in colours on wove paper). KAWS. 2015. KAWS can be best defined by two things: skateboard graffiti past and the artist’s fascinations with pop culture. This piece references KAWS’s iconic ‘x’-ed eye motif surrounded by forms in taunting colours. Even though the piece resembles cartoonish creations, the position of its elements creates depth and context that’s both evocative and approachable.