Juxtapoz @ Art Basel Hong Kong: Retna x Keith Haring

May 23, 2013Pop-Up, Hong Kong

With a stunning backdrop, 79 floors above Hong Kong, we attended the special pop-up gallery show of Retna and Keith Haring tonight in Hong Kong during the Art Basel festivities. Featuring iconic Haring works mixed with new works by Los Angeles-based Retna, the works played in unison of a both an exploration of language and unique character construction. Both artists have been cover artists of Juxtapoz in the past.

All photos by Evan Pricco and Juxtapoz.

From the gallery:

Andy Valmorbida is pleased to present Keith Haring >, a one-night exhibition at Central Plaza in Hong Kong on Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 5 pm until 9 pm, Curated by Nemo Librizzi and Esthella Provas, in collaboration with Bombardier Business Aircraft, RVCA and VistaJet.

Although Keith Haring (1958 - 1990) had a tragically short career, spanning only nine years from 1980 – 1989, he achieved international artistic recognition. Haring’s career grew rapidly from his initial tags on the New York City Subway. At the time of his death, Haring had completed more than fifty public murals (primarily for charities), created animations for the Times Square Spectacolor Billboard, collaborated with major commercial brands including Swatch and Absolute vodka, and opened his own retail space in Soho selling his graphics on T-shirts, toys, posters, buttons, and magnets. During his lifetime, Haring’s work was included in over 100 exhibitions. Most recently his work has been featured in a solo exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum in New York and at the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in Paris, France.

RETNA (b. 1979) started doing graffiti in 1986. In the late 1990’s, he started to paint on posted advertisements of fashion models. Taking his name from the retina in one’s eye, Retna’s paintings serve to visually capture urban life narrative. He has collaborated with Louis Vuitton, VistaJet, and Nike. His work was included in 2011's “Art in the Streets” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and he was subsequently asked to create a mural for MOCA’s April 2013 Urs Fischer exhibition. MOCA’s museum director, Jeffrey Deitch explained: “What amazed me was how fast and effortless it all seemed. The approach to his work is so internalized that Retna doesn’t have to agonize, and thinking, what do I do next? He just starts in the upper left corner and moves across a surface. The only other artist that I know who was able to do that was Keith Haring.”