Keith Haring Mural Uncovered in Amsterdam After Thirty Years Under Wraps

Keith Haring’s work became a New York staple, with a built-in audience, when he began drawing his iconic designs on blank ad spaces in the subway in the 1980s. His instantly recognizable bold-line images of a barking dog, outlined figures, imagined creatures, and their combinations, in his designs, made his work a favorite of American art collectors.


Haring gained international recognition and was commissioned to paint murals, in as far-reaching places as Rio, Paris and Melbourne and on the Berlin Wall before it was torn down. By the middle of the 1980s, Haring was an internationally successful artist and a vital part of the New York art scene, rubbing elbows with Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat at the Danceteria, where he worked as a busboy and Madonna worked as a coat check girl.


Haring had his first solo museum exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1986. He painted a mural for the exhibit inside the museum, and then asked the museum curators if he could paint a public mural outside as a gift to the city. The curators let Haring paint one of the brick walls of a museum warehouse. Haring painted one of his distinctive figures riding a giant sea creature.


Not long after Haring painted the mural in 1986, the wall was covered with aluminum panels for climate control. The mural was covered, and mostly forgotten, for nearly 30 years.


Keith Haring Mural Uncovered

The Keith Haring mural was covered for nearly 30 years, but not completely forgotten. Dutch artist Aileen Middel, also known as Mick La Rock, is one of the world’s first, and most famous, female graffiti artists. Growing up, she was a big fan of Keith Haring.


She knew of the mural’s existence and wondered what happened to it. The building on which it was painted has become part of Amsterdam’s Market Kwartier food market. Middel did her research at the Stedelijk Museum library and then contacted the Keith Haring Foundation and museum and city officials to help recover the mural. Her efforts resulted in the Save Our Haring initiative.


It took four years, but Middel’s hard work resulted in the uncovering of the mural on June 18. She’s now working, through the initiative, to ensure that the mural is preserved.


Keith Haring Works at Surovek Gallery

Keith Haring died in 1990, just four years after he painted the mural in Amsterdam. Haring was a prolific painter, printmaker and even created ceramic pieces, during the last years of his life.


Please contact us if you would like more information about Man on a Dolphin, Barking Dog, Double Man or any of the other fine work available at Surovek Gallery.




June 28, 2018
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