In his work, Keith Haring frequently foregrounded his ideas of social justice and used public space to distribute his art and ideas, insisting that art was for everybody. He raised awareness of the danger of atomic warfare, the impact of drugs, the AIDS epidemic, and supported the battle to end apartheid in South Africa.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s figures are representations of strength and resistance in the face of racism. He often represented the power of the black male in his fight against oppression throughout history as well as in 1980s America, taking a stand against police violence and persecution.
NGV curator Pip Wallis considers a selection of Haring and Basquiat’s works that address politics, and looks at how both artists engaged with social and political issues of their time.