Tag Archives: museum

Kanal-Centre Pompidou Test Period Exhibits

The KANAL-Centre Pompidou is a result of a 10 year partnership between the renowned Parisian Centre Pompidou and the city of Brussels. The new cultural center is located in a former Citroën factory dating from the 1930’s, one of the biggest of it’s time in Europe which holds an impressive 38,000 m2.

KANAL - Center Pompidou

Once fully renovated in 2022, the KANAL-Centre Pompidou will become the single largest cultural institution of Brussels devoted purely to contemporary art and architecture in all its form.

KANAL - Center Pompidou

Exhibitions and artistic residencies were organized for 14 months under the general commission of the Center Pompidou. Below and above are pictures, from among other things of the Phantom Offices & Red and white exhibitions.

KANAL - Center Pompidou

the KANAL – Center Pompidou is located along the Willebroek canal, in a bit of a run down neighborhood currently undergoing major transformation and gentrification.

KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou
KANAL - Center Pompidou

Keith Haring retrospective at Bozar

The short but prolific career of artist Keith Haring took place during the span of one decade, the ’80s. Bridging the gap between street graffiti and the art world, Haring initially rose to fame from the hundreds of illegal public murals and drawings he made between 1980 and 1985 in the subways and sidewalks of New York City.

Keith Haring Drawing in Subway Station of New York early oin his career

“All kinds of people would stop and look at the huge drawing and many were eager to comment on their feelings toward it. This was the first time I realized how many people could enjoy art if they were given the chance. These were not the people I saw in the museums or in the galleries but a cross-section of humanity that cut across all boundaries.”

Keith Haring

He believed that art was for everyone and that in order to reach as much of a broad public as possible that there was no better place for it to be displayed than on the city streets instead of the more traditional closed circuits of art galleries and museums.

Introduction to Keith Haring
“Art is for Everybody” at the entrance of the Keith Haring exhibit in Brussels, Belgium

When Keith Haring was 21, he was becoming aware of street graffiti and street art and in the “publicness” that art can be presented in by making the works during the rush hour among commuters in a very social setting. Between 1980 and 1985 Keith Haring made thousands of what are called chalk subway drawings. These would have been otherwise carrying advertisements for hot dogs or perfume but when the advertisements were expired it would be covered with this black paper.

Keith Haring at Paul Maenz 1984

He saw these blank canvases as a a place in which he could present his visual universe. So they would be very temporary, very professional, very generous but also a way of presenting his work in a very public open-handed way.

Keith Haring fingerprints records after arrest for illegal graffiti

Above fingerprints record of Keith Haring after one of his multiple arrests for illegal graffiti in the subways of New York

“More than once, I’ve been taken to a station handcuffed by a cop who realized, much to his dismay, that the other cops in the precinct are my fans and were anxious to meet me and shake my hand.”

Keith Haring


Early in his career, Keith worked on different mediums that were freely available throughout the city. Like for example, plastic sheeting or wooden panels used in construction or advertising boards in the subways, etc. Observe the two wooden panels, what do we see? We see a TV with Mickey, and a character whose head is a TV. In the 1980″s, more and more homes had a television set. Keith wants to draw attention to the influence that the media can have on us: consumption, manipulation through news. Mickey, is a positive childish symbol, and was all the rage after WWII. Even though this symbol is positive, it is artificial. does not exist and it is a product of the imagination. Already, in the 1980″s, people had started to reflect on the influences of the media and the limits to be set. Observe these above drawings: the symbols are clear, there is no text. The aim here is for the artist to make his works accessible to everyone. The fact that these are clear and visual brings the public closer to his art. Take, for example, abstract artwork: an audience that is not used to attending exhibitions would find it difficult to interpret the message. This is not the case here, the designs are very symbolic.

Early Works of Keith Haring
Take for example television with Mickey Mouse. Above, we can see a bubble with a baby, a symbol typical of the artist. The lines surrounding the baby represent the nuclear, and the baby the victim. On this panel, the man who has a television instead of his head, has a cross on his body. The cross symbolizes the character as a victim. Television that replaces the head may represent “brainwashing”


Keith felt that artists also had a role to play as spokesmen for a society at any given point in history. He purposely chosen a medium that was accessible to masses to addressed hot topics of the era such as: Gay rights, racism, AIDS epidemic, nuclear war, religion and the excesses of capitalism.

Apartheid by Keith Haring
Keith Haring tackling the subject of Apartheid created this piece in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 70th anniversary.

By Observing Haring’s work above, we can clearly see that it is a message related to racism. This work plays on empathy, by reversing the roles: where a black kicks out a white holding him on a leash. The Black character is also holding in his hand a cross, symbol of religion. Religion can constitute the origin of a problem. We can take colonialism as an example: most colonies had a religious mission to spread the faith of Christ, but this was used to subdue the local populations and make it easier for the occupation of territories and yield power over them.

The Murder of John Lennon dreamed by Keith Haring
John Lennon’s death dreamed by Keith Haring

Let’s take a look at this work above, which is about the death of the famous singer John Lennon in NYC. The singer was shot and killed in front of his house by an ex fan. The artist, shocked by the news, had a dream of John Lennon with dogs jumping through a hole across his body that we can see in this painting. We can also notice other significant symbols, typical of the artist: The baby on this book is surrounded by lines, symbolizing innocence, but also in some cases danger. Two characters read the bible, alluding to the killer Mark David Chapman, a deranged religious zealot who used to be a fan but sought kill him when Lennon, in a public statement said that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus” and for some of the lyrics in his songs “God” and “Imagine“.  Mickey, as seen above, can symbolize manipulation and consumption.

1981 - The year the AIDS virus was discoved
1981 untitled portrait referring to the discovery of the AIDS VIRUS with again a religious undertone

The artist rarely dates his works but when he does, the date indicated refers to an event that deeply marked or touched him. Here, we can see in both portraits above and below “1981”, year in which the existence of AIDS was discovered.

1981- Discovery of the AIDS virus by Keith Haring
1981- The discovery of the AIDS VIRUS

He was terrified of how aggressively the virus was spreading in the gay community, being himself homosexual and promoted safe sex through hist art.

ACT UP! by Keith Haring
ACT UP! Campaign promoting safe sex and gay rights

Visual Activism by Keith Haring
More art relating to various activism causes

Gay scene in NYC 1980’s
Think outsde the box by Keith Haring

Think outside of the box by Keith Haring

In just a few years, more than 40,000 people are died of AIDS. In 1988, the artist tested positive for HIV as his former companion had contracted it and died 2 years earlier.

Portrayals of macabre devil sperm as his body became affected by late stages of AIDS.
10 Portrait about the discovery of AIDS virus

We all know his earlier art style, but once HIV appeared in the New York city gay community, this traumatized him as many of his friends died and he knew he was at the time highly susceptible to one day catch the virus.His artistic style has started to change a lot. The features are more violent, touches of red appear. Taking a look at Keith Haring’s drawings above, they are all framed with a red line. Indeed, the framing alludes to comic strip boxes, but the red contrasts with the black. The horned snake that we see there symbolizes the disease of AIDS. The serpent comes out of the frames, which represents the violence, power and speed it’s propagation. This work is in a completely different style from those we have seen previously. During the period when the artist knew he had HIV, he opens up and his work becomes a diary, filled with moments of his life. Keith Haring died in 1990 of AIDS, like many of his friends.


It was in 1983, that Keith Haring really exploding as a pop art superstar and was being invited to exhibit internationally. he was like a sponge he was drawing inspiration from pop art, from the street art, from hieroglyphs and from the hip-hop culture. Creating his very unique visual pop style that became ubiquitous with the 1980’s

‘Matrix’ by Keith Haring
The Matrix is representation of Keith Haring’s visual universe

Bull with mask by Keith Haring
Bull with mask

Untitled by Keith Haring
Very interesting piece of art by Keith Haring

Dancing without a head by Keith Haring
Dancing without a head

Untitield in Act UP NOW! Room by Keith Haring
Untitield in Act UP NOW! Room by Keith Haring

Art in Transit NYC
Art in Transit by Keith Haring

Scrap yellow cab hood by Keith Haring

Old scrapped New York yellow cab hood used as a canvas by Keith Haring

Untitield in Act UP NOW! Room by Keith Haring

Stacking TV sets by Keith Haring
Stacking up TV sets high by Keith Haring

CLUB 57 AND ALTERNATIVE ART SPACES that Keith would go to

designed record sleeves for artists by Keith Haring
LP record sleeves designed for famous artists by Keith Haring

Violence on TV by Keith Haring
Violence in the media by Keith Haring

Lively art scene of New York in the 80’s

The barking dog one of the main characters of Keith Haring’s art used to call to attention, either for anger or as a warning

ADAM Temporary Exhibit Punk Graphics: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die

The Punk Graphics expo: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, was originally created in 2018 at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York and is now shown for the first time in Europe at the ADAM Brussels Design Museum. The exhibit is is based on Andrew Kristine’s extensive collection of punk memorabilia that includes flyers, posters, albums, promotional items and fanzines from 1976 to 1986.

Walking through the Punk Graphics Exhibit

In his youth, this New York investment banker was a front-seat witness to the birth of the punk movement. Fascinated by the inventiveness of punk graphic productions, began his collecting early as a teenager, and has accumulated over 3000 pieces over the space of four decades.

ADAM MUSEUM BRUSSELS: Punk Graphics Exhibit
Siouxsie and the Banshees and Hüsker Dü posters

His exhibition illustrates in particular the influence of the anti-establishment attitude of this counter culture, which favored a ‘DIY’ and ‘artisanal’ approach at a time when the professional graphic sector were turning to computers. The bands created their own posters and record covers, while fans created flyers and fanzines using typewriters, cutting letters out from newspapers and magazines to design their own rebel typography.

ADAM Museum PUNK DESIGN exhibit
GBH & Killing Joke posters

Punk graphics is also characterized by a great freedom of inspiration: all art forms, teen pop culture (comics, popular novels, science fiction, horror films, etc.) or the style of the 1950s and 1960s were appropriated freely. Collage was the reference technique; stencil the preferred mode of reproduction; contestation, irony and bright colors the essential ingredients.

ADAM Museum PUNK DESIGN exhibit
Here displayed a collection of Belgian punk vinyls records

There was a reciprocal relationship between the art world and the punk music scene, especially in cities like New York and London. The Andy Warhol influence can be easily seen for instance just below with the portraits of artists below of Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and Ian Dury.

Andy Warhol inflence on Punk art
Andy Warhol Pop art reflected in these portraits

After studying graphic design at Manchester Polytechnic in 1978, Peter Saville became one of the founding members of Factory Records. Saville created many memorable album covers and promotions for bands and projects associated with the company including designs for Joy Division and its successor band New Order. In step with the postmodernist tendencies of the times, Saville often looked to art and design history for inspiration. For this poster below used to promote the album Closer, Saville explores the neoclassical.

ADAM Museum PUNK DESIGN exhibit

The poster features a contemporaneous photograph taken by Bernard Pierre Wolff of the Appiani family tomb in Genoa’s famed Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno, sculpted by Demetrio Pernio around 1910. Rendered beautifully in dramatic light and shadow, it depicts the scene of the family’s bereavement. The image and the classical typography were chosen for their ability to quickly contrast the very modem music of the band with this seemingly ancient image in which it was wrapped. It was, however, an image whose grieving tone would be brought much closer to home following the tragic suicide of Joy Division’s lead singer Ian Curtis.

ADAM Museum PUNK DESIGN exhibit
Punk chic

One of the most iconic images of rock music (below on the left) when Pennie Smith captured The Clash bassist Paul Simonon smashing his guitar against the stage during a concert at The Palladium in New York in 1979. The image is framed by the pink and green typography mimicking Elvis Presley’s 1956 eponymous debut album.

ADAM Museum PUNK DESIGN exhibit

Despite these two strong visual elements, this promotional poster owes much to artist Andy Warhol and his use of repetition. The horizontal step-and-repeat of the design creates a still animation effect of this frenzied action, while also alluding to Warhol’s own series of Elvis canvases, which ranged from a single iconic pose to multiple repeat images of the singer.

ADAM Museum PUNK DESIGN exhibit
Colorful art in the rooms of the Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit

ADAM Museum PUNK DESIGN: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit

Answer WE ARE DEVO Poster!!! The mention on the bottom refer to “Jocko Homo” the B-side of their 1st single, “Mongoloid”

ADAM Museum PUNK DESIGN: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit
Walking around the Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit

ADAM Museum: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit
Black Flag and D.O.A. are some of the founders of the Punk Hardcore movement that started late “70’s was of my era

Jamie Reid, creator of legendary graphics for the Sex Pistols, designed this poster to promote the single California Ãœber Alles, an anti-fascist song from the San Francisco based Punk band the Dead Kennedys. The title refers to the first stanza of the German national anthem “Deutschland, Deutschland Ãœber alles” (“Germany, Germany above everything”), a lyric that was dropped following the end of World War II because of its close associations with Nazism and anti-Antisemitism.

ADAM Museum: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit

The 1979 song is a satirical attack on Jerry Brown, then Governor of California (1975-1983) and depicts a fascist vision of a future America based on post-hippie values. In this imagined totalitarian world, a California ethos of healthy living, cheerful music, and fashion-consciousness dominates a docile society ruled by a liberal dictator. Reid uses the swastika adorned with cannabis leaves to create a decorative border, a design treatment that evokes its pre-Nazi era use as a symbol of good fortune in, among other things, architectural pat-terns and decorative tile work.

Here is a video of the Dead Kennedys in concert with the 7-inch single version of the song playing

Long before the swastika was adopted by the Nazis in the 1930’s, it was widely used in various cultures around the world for centuries, from its ancient roots as an Eastern religious icon in Hinduism and Buddhism to a sign of auspiciousness and good luck in Western Greek, Celtic, and Baltic traditions.

The same year in 1979 and at the age of 21, Jello Biafra ran for Mayor of San Francisco. His platform was quite unconventional and included ideas such as requiring police officers to run for election by the residents of the neighborhoods they patrol, legalizing squatting in vacant buildings and forcing businessmen to wear clown suits within the SF city limits, He came In 3rd out of 10 In the Mayoral Race.

ADAM Museum: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit
Jello Biafra with NOMEANSNO “The Sky Is Falling and I Want My Mommy” poster promoting the new album.

ADAM Museum: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit
Which Punk era are you from? The Circle Jerks sticker there was one of the iconic bands of my era

ADAM Museum: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit

CRASS Band Punk/political artist Gee Vaucher’s “Your Country Needs You.” Anti-War song was released with the uncensored re-issue on The bands album “The Feeding of the 5,000.”

ADAM Museum PUNK DESIGN: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit
Some of the more noticeable posters among them Talking Heads, PIL, Bauhaus & Butthole Surfers on the left.

ADAM Museum PUNK DESIGN: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit

American artist Pettibon came to prominence in the early 1980s in the southern California punk rock scene for the Black Flag album covers and band logo. His target in the Zine zine above was the drug-wrecked hippie movement of the 1960’s.

Adam Museum PUNK DESIGN: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit
Plastic Bertrand was the internationally known be Belgian New Wave Artist for his hit single “Ça plane pour moi”.

Adam Museum PUNK DESIGN: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit
The Ramones, UK SUBS at Ancienne Belgique & Bérurier noir show flyers at Plan K

Adam Museum PUNK DESIGN: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit

Adam Museum PUNK DESIGN: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit

The Clash 1979 Tour & Give them enough rope album posters

Adam Museum PUNK DESIGN: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit
The Cramps, Siouxsie and the Banshees & The Damned posters on display

ADam Museum PUNK DESIGN: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit

Talking Heads Speaking Tongues LP

ADam Museum PUNK DESIGN: Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die exhibit

Punks often used dark humor imagery to provoke, the picture of German abbot Alban Schachleiter walking among rows of Nazi brownshirts offering Hitler salutes and appearing to return the salute is a great example and was used for a concert poster in the early 1980 while promoting the Malicious Damage album and was also used on Laugh? I Nearly Bought One!