Since our latest “T-Shirt of the Week” is a Keith Haring tee, I thought it was only fitting to repost this tribute I wrote 2 years ago dedicated to one of my all-time favorite artists. xo, Jilly
Back in my high school days, I was a funky new wave chick with a mad passion for art, music and fashion. To paint a clearer picture, I would have been the perfect casting choice for “the best friend” of Molly Ringwald & Duckie in the movie “Pretty in Pink”.
I remember wearing my Keith Haring pins on my denim jacket, and a limited edition Keith Haring Swatch Watch that I got as a birthday present from my grandma. I literally wore that watch everyday until it fell apart. Pop art always had a special place in my heart. The bright colors and whimsical attitude just seemed to fit in perfectly with my lifestyle. Andy Warhol was the master and Roy Lichtenstein was a genius, but growing up in the 80’s nobody could come close to Keith Haring. He was the Andy Warhol of my generation.
Throughout his career, Haring devoted much of his time to public works of art including hundreds of white chalk drawings in subway stations and painted murals throughout New York City. He also collaborated on numerous projects with the likes of Madonna, Grace Jones, Yoko Ono and his own mentor Andy Warhol. Though his images had a childlike quality, the messages behind them were anything but. They were deep and relevant to modern day issues. Touching on subjects as serious as drug abuse and AIDS.
Sadly, Haring died way too young of AIDS related complications at 31. His legacy will forever be immortalized through his art.
Last weekend I went with my husband and Max to see the Keith Haring exhibition at The Brooklyn Museum. The exhibit chronicles Haring’s earlier work in NYC including personal sketchbooks and preserved subway chalk drawings. It was amazing to see in person stuff I had only previously seen in books. Plus it was great to watch Max’s reactions to some of the art. Even when he pointed to one painting and started to shout “I see a penis! I see a penis!” In his defense, he did! Plus I’m pretty sure Keith Haring would have been okay with it. - Jill Topol
Keith Haring: 1978-1982
March 16 through July 8, 2012
Keith Haring 1958-1990 My High School Swatch Watch
Posing with Brooke Shields 1986
“Crack is Wack” 1986 Handball Court Murals on Harlem River Drive and East 128th Street, NYC
Untitled, 1981 Enamel on fiberboard
Down in the Subway
The exact moment Max realized Keith Haring was cooler than Justin Bieber
SOME COOL KEITH HARING ITEMS YOU CAN PURCHASE:
Keith Haring Rocker $260.00 www.openingceremony.us
Keith Haring Bumpkins Superbib 3 Pack $19.95 www.diapers.com
Keith Haring IPad Case $64.00 www.patriciafield.com
Uniqlo – Keith Haring SPRZ NY Graphic T-Shirt (size 3-11yrs) $12.90 www.uniqlo.com
Rapunzel, your dreams of becoming fashion’s next “it girl” have just been crushed. Little Red Riding Hood takes her “on my way to Grandma’s house” style to the runway as capes and ponchos become a top trend for fall. In warm earth tones and plaids, this sleeveless coverall classic is the perfect must-have for a fairytale happy ending. – Jill Topol1. Tommy Hilfiger – Tommy Mini Wool Cape (size 1-7yrs) £125.00 uk.tommy.com
2. Dolce & Gabbana – Girls Animal & Flower Print Cape (size 4-6yrs) $1615.00 www.saksfifthavenue.com
3. H&M – All For the Children, Jacquard-knit Poncho (size 2-10yrs) $34.95 www.hm.com
4. Aquascutum – Reversible Cape Red (size 4-12yrs) $473.44 www.designerchildrenswear.com
5. Stella McCartney Kids – Florence Cape (size 4-10yrs) $280.00 www.stellamccartney.com
6. Old Navy – Girls Hooded Performance Fleece Cape (size xs-xxl) $40.00 www.oldnavy.com
My son Max is the most confident person I’ve ever met in my life. This year for his school Halloween party he went as Draculaura from Monster High. Choosing to dress as a female character is nothing new for him. At only 7 years old he’s already gone in costume as Princess Leia and Padmé Amidala from Star Wars, Clawdeen Wolf from Monster High and Catwoman. When he was younger he wasn’t the least bit concerned what his peers might think of his “girlie” choices, but as he’s getting older he’s starting to worry.
Kids (and some adults) can be so cruel and it’s finally starting to take a toll on him. A boy in a “girls” costume makes him an easy mark for bullies, and great gossip for the mommies. I know that I’m “feeding him to the wolves” when I let him go to a school function dressed as the opposite sex, but what’s my other option? Tell him he can’t be who he is because some dipshit little kids and their parents feel awkward around my son. Not gonna happen on my watch. Not while I’m his mommy.
Needless to say he ended up having a blast at the Halloween party. Max’s friends and their parents are amazing and have always accepted him with open arms, no matter how sparkly and fabulous he is. Yes, there were a few stares and whispers (mostly from parents), but as I’ve always tried to instill in my son, we can’t worry about what everyone else thinks. My kid is polite, sensitive, loving, and has a heart of gold. He is perfect.
Is my son straight, gay, bi, trans or a metrosexual in the making? I have no clue, but I do know whatever God (or whatever higher power) has intended him to be, he is incredible. He is stronger and more secure with himself than most adults. I can’t wait to see what beautiful costume he has in store for next year. I’m sure it will be fabulous. – Jill Topol
Halloween is only a few days away and the time has come to panic and run around like a chicken without a head as we scramble to find (and or make) that ultimate Halloween costume for our kiddos.
If only All Hallows’ Eve could be as easy as it was back in the 70’s. When a child’s costume consisted of a demented and somewhat creepy plastic character mask complete with matching smock purchased from the local five and dime store.
Let’s travel back to the age of disco and wood paneled station wagons as Super Goody Bag brings you the best in vintage 70’s Halloween costumes. Where coming of age meant having a Farrah Fawcett poster on your wall and Mr. Kotter as your favorite teacher. - Jill Topol