Silence Death By Keith Haring Analysis

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Floppy disks, hairspray and death were all common staples of the 1980s. The 80’s gay youth carry the title of being the Aids Generation as it saw the evolution of a disease into a worldwide plague. As entire communities were stricken with death and despair, homosexuals and heterosexuals alike faced the issue of cultural taboos when discussing their condition. The inspired shame and consequent silence slowed the healing and prevention of the HIV-Virus among the victimized communities. To fight the world’s ignorance and provide a means of outreach, artists branched out into non-traditional mediums such as street art to force attentiveness to the Aids crisis. Graffiti artist Keith Haring’s “Untitled” murals and graffiti deserve recognition as …show more content…
In Keith Haring’s acrylic piece entitled “Silence-Death” the use of simple expressive lines, repetitive figures, and emotion-sparking colors help rely a message to break the silence and speak about the aids crisis. John R. Killacky, executive director of the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts adds in the Journal of The Gay & Lesbian Review that the piece, “ [was the] Most iconic [in his collection]…showing a pink triangle filled with his schematically outlined figures covering their eyes, ears, and mouths.” Inside the canvas you can see that the use of lines are delivering movement showing a frantic or frenzied-like state displaying the urgency characters are acting out. The urgency of the movement is only matched by the urgency of the message spelled out on the canvas: “Ignorance=Fear…Silence = Death.” The message is a cry to the public to speak up and break the censorship and cultural norms that block awareness. Haring’s simplistic cartoonist approach resembles many pop art artists of the time, such as Andy Warhol, and inside this simplicity the artists consciously decide to deliver a simple product where the message or meaning bears the most

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