A commissioner in Berks County, Pennsylvania, where Keith Haring is from, is calling the artist’s work “obscene” and refusing a museum’s request to hang a Statue of Liberty mural.
The 30’x90′ mural, which once hung from a building in New York City, was nixed after the commissioner, Mark C. Scott, looked at Haring’s work on the internet and determined that it depicted “graphic sadomasochistic and homosexual activities.”
Supporters of Haring contend that Scott’s decision was politically motivated.
Said Jill Katz of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philly: “His drawings look very simplistic, almost primal in a way. But they all told a story. He was very much about depicting the world around him. He became one of the greatest artists of his time. He has a large body of work that is not categorized as obscene. The sexuality that comes through in his work is just one facet of his personality. It’s not all of him. It’s what some people dwell on because they find it offensive in some way. He didn’t do this for the shock value. He was drawing from his experiences.”
Haring grew up in nearby Kutztown, PA. He raised thousands for children’s charities in his lifetime. He died of AIDS in 1990, at age 31.
Commissioner Blasts Keith Haring’s Art [reading eagle]