For my featured American artist I decided to create two dishes in honor of Keith Haring, American pop and graffiti artist whose work grew from 1980s New York City street culture. Haring's work was provocative and spoke to the many socio-political issues of the United States with themes of sexuality, the AIDs epidemic, & racial injustice.
An open-face grilled cheese sandwich with a balsamic glaze & beetroot mayo topping. This piece is classic Keith Haring iconography.
He was a master of symbolism, creating a graphic language based on the primacy of the line. These dancing flower heads celebrate the free-spirit of youth. Keith dedicated himself to public art and became known for his subway drawings that decorated the tubes of NYC. In 1986 he opened a pop shop, selling merchandise bearing his images. Haring considered it an extension of his work, giving people greater access to his art through low-cost products. And while this drew criticism from many, he received support from fans & mentors including the great pop artist Andy Warhol.
Keith came to form a relationship with another legendary American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat. Though their styles differ greatly, they held deep mutual respect. They bonded over the prejudices they faced, Keith for his homosexuality and Basquiat for his skin color. Both using their art as weapons to rage against an oppressive society in a cultural wave that is still washing over us today.
2nd is a piece I recreated out of pizza. Basquiat died tragically young, and in his honor, Keith painted 'A pile of crowns'. Basquiat frequently used a crown motif to represent himself as a king and his ambition for greatness. To associate himself, a young black New Yorker, with the likes of kings was an act of defiance in itself. Haring celebrated Basquiat's rebellion and legacy in this simple, but powerful piece.
A slice of pizza topped with ricotta cheese and meticulously cut olives. The perimeter is lined by red pizza sauce.
Keith Haring's life too was cut short when he died of complications related to AIDs, but his impact lives on. His work spans a spectrum of emotions with lively characters that dance, to more pained figures. Haring continues to inspire artists and activists all over the world.