In Art, synonym of purification is catharsis. Blood. The staging of a tragic representation in Ancient Greece involved the whole polis in a common moment of purification. Tears. Through feelings of pity and terror. Sweat. Art makes you stink, it bothers, it melts groins and intestines, it speaks from the stomach, the throat and the lower bellies. Art is scary. The Sublime and the Beautiful are concepts clearly distinct. Let’s get free. Freedom. Let’s follow our instincts, let’s give credibility to the subconscious. Let’s eliminate the costume that does not exist. Let’s read more and not the labels.

Yes. When I visited the exhibition that Palazzo Reale dedicated to Keith Haring I sweated. A lot. A sweat, for the accuracy, composed of water, ions (Na +, K +, Cl-), urea, immunoglobulins, cholesterol, lactic acid, volatile bases, acrylic, oil on canvas, images, masks, vinyl paint …

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Automatism. “Primitiveness”: to consider the formal conditions of art. Keith Haring orders the autonomously formed images. To paint “what we are”. Art and life. Sensitive-visible.
Without identity, he let the imminence of life enter through the hole on the abdomen, displaying what there is directly ahead and behind. The first “little man” I meet is a “Vitruvian” figure whose perspective center is missing: a chasm.

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

In the dark caves of dark tunnels of the industrial metropolis, the survival of his icons from the fear of the disease, from the oppressive society, the issues of destruction and creation, violence and sexual repression is guaranteed by the “continuous conjunction with the past”, as stated by Marina Mattei.

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

“Untitled,” a schematic medieval hell: in the flames, monstrous creatures devour human beings. “Untitled”: the threat of AIDS, a terrifying woman’s head meets the sexual desires of her victims until she takes them to death.

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Archetype indicates the first form. Originally it was the word, now the word has become the figure: an alphabet of movements in the making.
The Centaur, the Wolf, the Medusa. Woman / monster, mermaid / bird, Hydra / seductress with blue bust up right and breasts frees her animals with crosses on a background of bile, not pitch and pervasive darkness.

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

The society of Haring’s subjects was first made of individual and autonomous units then destined to future meetings. Solitary “Little Men” . The stories were born later by coincidence.

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

“Untitled”. Upside down is the crucifix of Haring: modern St. Peter, echo of Masaccio and consecrated image of humility. A hand from above puts a wedding ring to the finger of the left hand sticking out from below: immersed in a concert of angels and demons takes place the marriage of the two forces. “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”. Keith Haring, creator of images.

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

“Alterpiece”, bronze triptych with a white gold patina shines thanks to the power of a heavy line but not black, shines out among tears and flying angels. Orgy of holiness, vacuous horror of wealth. I have no arrows. I stab myself with roses: “Saint Sebastian” by Keith Haring between Botticelli and Carl Fischer that immortalizes Muhammad Ali.

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Fantastic imagination. There is a further meaning than what Keith Haring was willing to admit. “Untitled”, a crocodile that spits a cross or that ingurgitates a crucified Christ? “Untitled”, a pig that feeds men lost in a sea of ​​vomit dismissed from his mouth.

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Hyper-reality. We think back at the “Garden of Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch. We reconsider the “Last Judgment” by Michelangelo. We fall into utopias in front of “Guernica” by Picasso. Are they dreams perhaps? Are they mental transpositions? They are certainly nightmares, scary fears where falling is magic. Catharsis. Scream. And I stop. Good and evil. Evil and Good. 

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

“Untitled”. I read a story unfolding horizontally, vertical ghost and echo of classical Roman settings. “Trajan’s Column”. “Untitled”. “Sedimented content”, Adorno would have said.

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Ethnographism. 20th century America. Geometric graffiti from the Stone Age. Labyrinth: I follow the roads that falsely the artist seems to draw and then they twist. I follow the signs on the bodies. Broken lines, concentric circles, crosses, white marks on color beauties: Grace Jones and Bill T. Jones, I raise my hands. I offer prayers to “Barking Dog”, invocations to Quetzalcoatl.

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

From the ethnographism to the performance. “Untitled” Hollywood African Mask: enamel on aluminum, dual identity. The “ritual dance” melts and I rediscover ancestral expressiveness.
Keith Haring portrays Joseph Beuys. Joseph Beuys reveals the man / nature relationship on “Blackboard 6”: conclusive. “Do it Yourself”: Andy Warhol among the gods, “the only true pop artist.”

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

“Everybody Knows Where Meat Comes from, it Comes from the Store”, Jean Dubuffet inseparable from the representation of the visible and corporeal. “Red, Yellow and Blue # 7”. Jackson Pollock, Pierre Alechinsky, Mark Tobey: between action and meditation Keith Haring explores. “Red, Yellow and Blue # 24”. Holland, Belgium, Italy, Germany, England: Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Matisse, Dalí, Magritte, Fernand Léger, Jean Arp, Alexander Calder and Jean Tinguely … “If Léger was alive today, wouldn’t he draw with a computer?”.

Keith Haring has flattened the three-dimensionality of the representation but not that of thought. “Unfinished Painting”. All together, here, now, and nowhere else: before my eyes all is tragically clear. I smile. Catharsis.

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Keith Haring, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Reale, Milano

Credits
Special thanks to WOK Store for the Jacquemus’ dress from the archive.
Special thanks to Retrosuperfuture for the Super Andy Warhol Iconic Series Glasses

Photo: Carlotta Coppo 

AMOlinks:
www.palazzorealemilano.it
www.mostraharing.it