Keith Haring, ‘Pop Shop Tokyo - Rice Bowl’, 1987, Artificial Gallery

Hand-painted ceramic rice bowl, produced by Keith Haring for the opening of his Tokyo-based Pop Shop. Signed and dated by the artist verso. Haring writes about the creation process at length in his journal on October 27, 1987: "We were supposed to take two hours to choose the shape of rice bowls I wanted to do and paint some samples. I ended up taking four hours...Some I did with figurative patterns that made the rice bowls look more African or Indian than Japanese, and some I did with real simple fish paintings. The more I painted, the more I learned how to control the glaze pigment on the clay surface, the more 'into it' I got, the less I wanted to leave...I really love to work. I swear it is one of the things that makes me most happy and it seems to have a similar effect on everyone who is around me while I work..."

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About Keith Haring

Bridging the gap between the art world and the street, Keith Haring rose to prominence in the early 1980s with his graffiti drawings made in the subways and on the sidewalks of New York City. Combining the appeal of cartoons with the raw energy of Art Brut artists like Jean DuBuffet, Haring developed a distinct pop-graffiti aesthetic centered on fluid, bold outlines against a dense, rhythmic overspread of imagery like that of babies, barking dogs, flying saucers, hearts, and Mickey Mouse. In his subway drawings and murals, Haring explored themes of exploitation, subjugation, drug abuse, and rising fears of nuclear holocaust, which became increasingly apocalyptic after his AIDS diagnosis. Alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, and Jenny Holzer, Haring is regarded as a leading figure in New York East Village Art scene in the 1970s and '80s.

American, 1958-1990, Reading, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York