Keith 3 eyed face, 2019,
Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11" (36 x 28 cm)
Jean Michel's and Cabeza, 2019,
Acrylic on canvas, 14" x 11" (36 x 28 cm)
Keith Haring and Jean Michel Basquiat were friends and this duo reminds us of their relationship and their different universes as well as the fact that 1982 was a key year for both of them.
On October, 9th 1982, Keith Haring had his first solo show at Tony Shafrazi. The show was a huge success and a key moment in his career. The cover of the catalogue was with a 3 eyed face, to become one of his most iconic images.
He explained that he did a mural in 1981 with a 2 eyed face. He realized too late that the eyes were too far off center. So he “added a third eye and all of a sudden it was profound that there was a third eye. By repeating it later, people just assumed it was an intentional thing”.
Basquiat’s comment is based on his quote “My first instinct would be to do a head” that he illustrates with emojis about Keith and him.
His friend Kenny Scharf refers to the success of the opening, the previous day.
In 1982 Basquiat had several major solo shows and his career was taking off. His solo exhibition at the Fun Gallery founded by Patti Astor, opened on November 4. He had 30 works and among them Cabeza which was among his favorites and which he kept for his personal collection.
His comment is based on an interview in 1982 « My first instinct would be to do a head » and « I don't think about art when I'm working. I try to think about life ». The pumpkin emoji refers to a carving pumpkin party organized by Patti Astor before the opening with other artists such as Keith Haring. She declared that when she saw his work in 1981, she “knew right off the bat, this guy is a genius”.
This show was considered and still is among his best, hence the comment of his friend Keith Haring.
Haring By Alexandra Kolossa, 2004
Keith Haring, Jeffrey Deitch, Julia Gruen, 2008
Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art, Phoebe Hoban, 2008
What Makes 1982 Basquiat’s Most Valuable Year, Artsy, Apr 1, 2018