Keith Haring 1978-1982 at the Brooklyn Museum
Marvelously vapid but likeable happy meal of a show by the late artist Keith Haring, whose claim to fame began with his underground subway graffiti drawings and ended with his being anointed the new pope of pop and heir apparent to Andy Warhol, before his early death from AIDS in 1990. This is dumb art that demands nothing or very little from the viewer, because that’s what Haring demanded from his talent. Prolific almost to a fault, this club kid and Disco bunny filled everything he could lay his hands on with his now iconic bold black wiggly squigly lines, simple designs, motifs along with a sometimes innocent eroticism of cute erect penises dancing and prancing all over the place. The politic collages with playful Newspaper headlines from the New York Post that some find provocative are simply dreadful as are his other attempts at small scale collage paper works. He’s best on the large scale where more is more but not always completely satisfying. The show is popular and I’m delighted that families are traveling out to Brooklyn with their kids in tow to see this exhibition, and I would love to eavesdrop on their explaining all those erections (innocent or not) to their adorable kids. Yes these are appealing works in some way, but I left feeling somewhat let down by all the noise of the pieces, and by the extreme commercialism of his art, just take a look in the pseudo pop shop that is unavoidable as you leave the show. Anyone for a Keith Haring mop?