Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines
The year 2020 will be one of the years that goes down in history as a year of “it couldn’t possibly get worse!”. From the COVID-19 pandemic to police brutality & lack of accountability and consequences, to racial and political divisions, it seems that humanity has lost its humanism.
During this time, we at BXAH have also immersed ourselves in the world of art, science, and general creative outlets. This is when we discovered the 3-D virtual exhibition Keith Haring Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines at the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia! While we have never been to Australia and it is probably advised that we do not travel for some time. This exhibition made possible by Matterport is an absolute wonder! (It also helps that Haring and Basquiat are two of our favorites)
The NGV’s temporary closure has prompted several virtual education initiatives like virtual school excursions, virtual professional learning, and other ideas to bring art home. The exhibition Crossing Lines is a survey of Haring and Basquiat’s work from graffiti artists creating in the subways of New York City to becoming heavy hitters in the gallery and public art world. The exhibition also has an endearing parallel that focuses on their friendship and struggles for rights.
The virtual exhibition opens with views of SAMO Basquiat’s graffiti tag, and the ability to click on pink tags that open an audio guide, which is scattered throughout the exhibition. As you continue you are led down a hallway flanked if you visited in person would be videos of Haring and Basquiat tagging in the subways and streets of NYC. As you come to the end of the hallway there is a blue dot, that does bring you to a YouTube page where you can watch those videos. While you do not experience the scale of the exhibition, the content is not left to the imagination. The next gallery goes through their earlier works hung on the walls in your traditional museum format. Everything is categorically organized, from Self-Portraits, Objects, and Friends, to Performance and Dance. Even in its virtual form, the sheer mass of this exhibition is impressive. Personal archive items, photographs with celebrities, and other artists like Andy Warhol are examples of how in such a short time these two artists and two friends became megastars of the art world and were gone too soon.
Even if you are not a fan of Haring or Basquiat, take note of how a virtual exhibition can be created beautifully. While the exhibition and gallery are currently closed, we are lucky enough to have a virtual exhibition that we can continue to view and share!
To see NGV’s other virtual exhibitions visit: https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/virtual-tours/