In late winter a number of Keith Haring-like images began to surface on the streets of the Lower East Side. I should have immediately recognized them as the work of Angel Ortiz (Little Angel aka LA ll), the main inspiration behind much of Keith Haring’s art. But I didn’t. Whereas Keith Haring is regarded as one of the key artists of the 20th century, LA ll is just now on his way to attaining the respect and recognition he deserves. Deemed as Keith Haring’s “silent partner,” LA ll collaborated with and traveled alongside him for about 10 years, profoundly impacting Haring’s style and sensibility. A solo exhibition of LA ll’s recent paintings is at the Dorian Grey Gallery at 437 E. 9th Street through April 17. It’s worth a visit.
Photos by Lois Stavsky and Tara Murray