Keith Haring: The Agony and the Ecstasy in 'Heaven and Hell' at Skarstedt Gallery
Skarstedt Gallery currently presents Keith Haring: Heaven and Hell, a series of compelling paintings by the iconic, late artist at their Chelsea location. Heaven and Hell, is comprised of five massive canvases created between 1984-1985, all ambitious in scale, and exploring a bold and daring terrain. These works stand as a departure from Haring's signature, street-inspired visual style. Haring has often cited William Blake and Hieronymus Bosch as core influences, and it's highly apparent in these five seminal works. Haring navigates between the celestial and the diabolical, mortality is pitted against immortality, and blasphemy is juxtaposed against the most sacred. Haring was essentially and still is a humanist, constantly exploring the power humans hold to elevate each other, which he vividly portrayed in his work. An eternal philanthropist and activist, Haring fought for the remainder of his life against the AIDS epidemic, which he would eventually succumb to in 1990. In some ways, Haring symbolizes the ultimate martyr, and these influential works serve as a personal testament, as he grappled the meaning of life before his imminent end. Heaven and Hell is on view through April, 18 2015 at Skarstedt Gallery in Chelsea, New York City.