Since I heard about the Keith Haring x OBEY collaboration, I have been waiting to see the end result. Thankfully, this Autumn I won’t be sporting OBEY’s usual snap back but an array of worn in tees and hoodies emblazoned with some of Haring’s most iconic images. The line will even boast a leather varsity jacket and a military m65 style that resembles the coat that Haring used to wear while painting in the 80’s.
For Shepard Fairey, this partnership between OBEY and the Keith haring Foundation is his way of paying homage to an artist, businessman and ground breaking street artist. The line blatantly points out the likeness between the artists in their subject matters and foray into commercial projects, allowing the mainstream to own their artwork in another form than just paintings. Most importantly, however, is that OBEY is bringing Haring’s art work to a new audience just over 20 years since his passing. This is what Shepard had to say about the collection and inspiration behind it:
“Though Keith Haring died only two years after I started making street art, his art and practice had already made a profound impact on me. At art college and on the streets of NYC in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Keith’s radiant baby and other images could be seen on the tees of all the flyest hipsters. Keith Haring was a prolific artist with a distinct style of drawing and painting that was simultaneously refined, but primitive, deliberate but lyrical and energetic. Haring believed “the public has a right to art” and this philosophy informed his populist approach to spreading his art and messages. He pursued his art with a deeply personal vision, but also as a champion of social justice and a belief in the interconnectedness of humanity. Haring demonstrated the power of art on the streets, but he also put his art on t-shirts and record covers. He even opened a retail space in NYC called The Pop Shop. Eventually Haring’s artwork became widely respected, displayed, and sold as “fine art”. Haring rose from the 80’s NYC graffiti scene to not only affect the art world, but to dramatically impact pop culture. Inspired by Keith Haring’s achievements, I pursued my art career with the optimism that my goals could be attained.”
Check out some of the stand out pieces of the collection below. Some of the items are available now on OBEY Clothing with the full mens and womens collection arriving throughout the next few weeks in the US and UK.
Photos courtesy of OBEY Clothing UK