Liverpool to host first UK major retrospective of Keith Haring

The late iconic Artist & Activist Keith Haring will have his first major UK retrospective shown in June 2019 at Tate Liverpool.  A legend of the New York art scene, the show will include 85 works by the artist including paintings, drawings, photographs and videos, all encapsulating the 1980’s underground that the artist embodied.  Best known for his iconic motifs, such as barking dogs, crawling babies and flying saucers, Haring’s work was politically charged and motivated by activism, with Haring’s work as an AIDS activist and educator remaining his most essential legacy.  Having evolved from the street scene and club culture of the early 80’s, with his graffiti style being seen at such legendary clubs as Paradise Garage, he later went on to work in the same circles as Jean Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Madonna, Vivienne Westwood & Grace Jones.  He was also an active member of the legendary Club 57 in New York, where he gave performances and organised exhibitions. 
Writing for ID magazine Ryan White declared  “Though much has changed in the world since the 1908’s, and HIV/AIDS no longer as much of a threat in NYC, a lot of the themes Haring’s explored — opioid addiction, racism, police brutality, environmental damage, war — remain as present and urgent as ever. An expansive retrospective, then, couldn’t be more welcome”.  In 1988 Haring was diagnosed with AIDS and set up the Keith Haring foundation to support children’s programs and organisations dedicated to raising AIDS awareness.  He later died in 1990 aged 31.  
The following is an excerpt from the Keith Haring foundation regarding his love of New York nightlife and Music, particularly the Paradise Garage – 
“Wherever Keith Haring was working, either on the street or in his studio, music was always playing. Haring’s work embodies the sounds of the New York streets and of streetwise clubs like Paradise Garage. You can almost hear the music that infuses the visual rhythm of his work. Haring was one of the rare artists who was able to visualize sound.
Reminiscing about Keith Haring and the Paradise Garage, Ann Magnuson wrote that “dancing was our pagan rite and the Paradise Garage, the first multi-cultural gay dance club, became Keith’s Pantheon.” In his journals, Haring wrote, “I don’t know if you know how important the Paradise Garage is, at least for me and the tribe of people who have shared many a collective spiritual experience there. The Garage also changed or affected my life incredibly through various ‘re-imprinting’ experiences and transformations.” Haring would even schedule his trips around the Garage, “leaving on Sundays and returning before or on Saturdays.”
The exhibition  ‘Keith Haring’  takes place 14th June – 10th November 2019  Tate Liverpool, Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4BB
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Keith Haring – Artist

Mike Lee “Besties” Exhibition at Arsham/Fieg Gallery NY

Digital Artist Mike Lee is set to open his first solo exhibition today at the Arsham/Fieg gallery New York.  After a successful international debut in a group show with the Amala Gallery in Tokyo last November, Mike Lee is set to bring his Digital Figures, which appear to levitate within a void, to the New York Gallery.  An art series that revolves around an exploration of the female figure, Mike Lee’s “Besties” exhibit emphasises equality, social change and female empowerment. “In light of all women coming together to speak out, it’s about time their voices are being heard loud and clear,” reads a statement form Lee.  “Besties” will be comprised of 5 new oil paintings that are continuing on the artist’s exploration of light and shadow through portrayal of his bubbly featureless characters, this time with accent on portraying female figures.  These more complex works are an introduction of sorts to his newest body of work that he will be revealing later this month with Over The Influence gallery during Art Basel week in Hong Kong.
Mike Lee – “Besties” Arsham/Fieg Gallery, 337 Lafayette St, NY, 10012 

Martin Margiela’s Palais Galliera retrospective

Martin Margiela, the ‘Invisible Man’ of fashion, has a retrospective spanning his 10 years at the helm of his eponymous label opening at the Palais Galliera, Paris this month.  Spanning his career from spring/summer 1989 to spring/summer 2009 the exhibition is the first retrospective from the Belgian Designer, and despite his very low key lifestyle, Margiela is credited as Artistic Director for the exhibition as well as writing the captions for the looks and overseeing the wigs and make up on each mannequin.  
Graduating from the infamous Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, where he studied alongside the remaining ‘Antwerp Six’, Martin began with a tenure at Jean Paul Gaultier as his assistant, Gaultier claiming he was by far the best assistant he had ever had and pushed him to start his own line.  In 1989 Martin produced his first collection and, along side the other Antwerp Six, continued the legacy of Deconstructionism started in fashion by the japanese designers, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçon & Yoji Yammamoto amongst others.  
Seen in the context of our present obsession with 24-hour connectivity and accessibility, Margiela’s work feels refreshingly subversive.  Throughout his career he did not give interviews.  His label on his clothing was just a plain white label stitched to the clothing, the only visible presence being the two stitches of cotton from the outside of the garment.  In terms of his designs, he was years ahead of his time, and this new retrospective provides an opportunity to see the work of this extraordinary intellectual, who was every inch a designer’s designer – Demna Gvasalia, of Balenciaga and Vetements, and Phoebe Philo are both self-confessed fans.  It is a testament to his legacy that after Martin Margiela left his label as head designer both Raf Simons & Haider Ackermann both turned down the roll.  
The exhibition contains over 130 silhouettes, house archives and special installations and offers an unprecedented look at one of the most influential designers of the 20th century.
Palais Galliera Muséede la Mode de la Ville de Paris.  10, Avenue Pierre ler de Serbie 75116 Paris.  March 3rd to July 15th  Palais Galliera

Single Shot – Wolfgang Tillmans

 “Always take yourself seriously . . . . . it’s not the same as being pompous, or overly self assured, but it is important to understand that the small little ideas that creep up in your mind, often contain the germ of a much larger project.  All great art wasn’t born as great art.  It first needed to be recognised by the artist themselves.  Through his or her belief in it, it became true.”
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Wolfgang Tillmans – Artist

Gender-fluidity & tongue-in-cheek slogans at MAN AW18 London Men’s Fashion week

This seasons new group of emerging designers showing for MEN at the Men’s London Fashion week AW18 collections were an exercise in what London Collections does best.  The non-profit initiative from the founders of Fashion East in association with TopMan help nurture young emerging talent and have, over the years, helped launch the careers of J.W. Anderson, Craig Green and more recently critics favourite Charles Jeffery aka Loverboy.  This season the collections came from Art School, Stefan Cooke & Rottingdean Bazaar.  Art School design duo Eden Loweth & Tom Barrett took their inspiration from different empowering women from Donatella Versace to Kyle Jenner and explored non-binary gender identities and saw a focus on redefining the limitations of gendered fashion. Newcomer Stefan Cooke, the critics favourite, who only set up his brand last year, showed a collection, using as its base, old photographs sourced from eBay.  The digital prints gave the illusion of denim and knitted skinny trousers, while slim-fit tops featured a snake effect.  Rottingdean Bazaar, meanwhile, showed a collection swathed in both ironic & iconic symbols.  From Naomi Campbell cardboard cut-outs to mundane objects such as dartboards turned into dresses as well as tongue in cheek slogans.  The designers received a bursary, free venue and complete catwalk show production, professional catwalk photographs and video. The designers were also given mentoring, guidance and in-house PR throughout the season from Lulu Kennedy and her team.