New show celebrating Haring and Banksy at Ross+Kramer Gallery New York

Posted on November 30, 2017

Currently running at Ross+Kramer Gallery New York (until January 3rd) “In Behalf of Causes”, is a survey of prolific work in several mediums by Keith Haring and Banksy as its inaugural show. Titled after a phrase in Haring’s obituary as published by the New York Times in 1990, the show features drawings, paintings, and sculpture made by the two artists who intersect in their interests in social activism and the performative, immediate nature of street art. 

First inspired by graffiti, Haring developed a bold, graphic style by drawing in chalk on the unused advertising spaces in the subway. His illustrative caricatures were distinctive long before his name was known, which is now household for the bold motifs that appeal to the public as well as the marketplace. Likewise, Banksy developed a following without ever revealing his identity -- he remains anonymous today, all the while his distinctive spray-painted stencil approach to graffiti enraptures the public. By using widely accessible forms of imagery in public spaces to circumvent the traditional divide between “high” and “low” art, Haring was and Banksy is able to communicate on behalf of their activist causes directly to anyone who manages to witness their art. 

The works featured in “In Behalf of Causes” were made in the spirit of cultural resistance in order to confront the viewer with difficult political or social issues. Haring asked us to consider the 1980s AIDS crisis in the midst of his own battle with the disease, exposing the way love, life, and sex had become grimly synonymous with illness and death in his community. Banksy’s work functions as a rolling social commentary, which topics ranging from terrorism to poverty, and from police militarization to modern relationships.