Tuesday, November 9, 2010

RADIANT BABY



As I've shared before, I spend a lot of time thrifting. The thrill of the hunt is something I inherited from my mother and my grandmother, and sometimes it really pays off. One of my favorite things that I've uncovered while scouring the racks at Goodwill is my worn-in Keith Haring t-shirt.



Haring was a street artist based in New York City in the '80s. He is most known for his public murals and artwork in the subways, and was just as much a social activist as he was an artist. As a contemporary with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Haring's work became a symbol of inner city Manhattan life.


His graffiti can still be seen on the Lower East Side and elsewhere, where it represents the alternative art community that exploded during the '80s. Haring is most known for his "radiant baby" image, which became his trademark.


In 1989, Haring opened the Pop Shop in Soho, where he sold clothing and paraphernalia emblazoned with his radiant baby and other graffiti imagery. Criticized by the high art community, the Pop Shop was championed by Warhol and others who promoted the commercialization of art. For Haring, it was another way to bring his work to the masses.



Haring died tragically of AIDS in 1990, but the Pop Shop remained in SoHo until 2005, when the Keith Haring Foundation shut it down for good. Finding this original Pop Shop t-shirt at a Goodwill in the City was like uncovering a piece of New York art world history.



I throw it on all the time with boyfriend jeans, but for this look, I decided to dress it up a bit.




I'm wearing the Haring tee with vintage wool slacks, Juicy Couture boots, a vintage blazer, vintage leather purse, and old tie-dyed silk scarf.


[Haring images from thekasen.files.wordpress.com, thematbickley.wordpress.com, and coalregion.com, respectively.]

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