I was a pre-teen in the early 1990's and when I think of the endless hours I spent at Scottsdale Fashion Square, Keith Haring comes to mind. With all the loitering in Z Gallerie and The Museum Store, I couldn't escape his famous doodles splattered all over neckties, playing cards, posters, magnets and all kinds of trinkets.
During that decade of hyper-AIDS awareness, Haring's art became a symbol of the awful disease. The artist was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988 and died of HIV related complications in 1990, at the young age of 31.
But before being the (literal) poster-boy for AIDS awareness, Haring was a super famous artist. In 1980, he started with chalk mural drawings on advertising panels in New York subway stations. He quickly gathered a street following and two years later, had an incredibly popular solo exhibition in a SOHO gallery.
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For the rest of the decade, he participated in over 100 group and solo shows - both domestic and international. He worked with Madonna, Grace Jones, Bill T. Jones, William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Jenny Holzer, Yoko Ono and Andy Warhol.
Bentley Gallery proudly displays large paintings, works on paper and sculptures by Haring starting tomorrow, February 3rd through March 3rd.
Opening reception is this Thursday, February 5th at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Bentley Gallery in Scottsdale, 4161 N. Marshall Way, 480-946-6060, www.bentleygallery.com.