Keith Haring's love for Belgium

The American artist Keith Haring had a special bond with Belgium. Already in 1983 the Galerie 121 in Antwerp exhibited his work. Haring stayed in Belgium several times between 1987 and 1990 during exhibitions devoted to his work and in connection with commissions from, among others, the famous collector Roger Nellens.

Keith Haring in 1982

People still tell anecdotes of their encounters with the young man who was full of energy and one of the most prolific artists of his time. Because Keith Haring never stopped drawing and painting ... on any surface he managed to get his hands on.

Picture by Pixabay

When Keith Haring first came to Knokke in the summer of 1987, it was love at first sight. The seaside town would become the only place where Haring said he 'really came home'. Everyone wanted a piece of 'Keith' that year, even if it was just a drawing, a signed piece of clothing, a container, a memory ... Not much has changed today: many of the people who surrounded him then want him still claim. Even if only in their stark stories. 'He worked perfectly in the environment of the city of Knokke. He was accessible to everyone.

Keith loved Belgium very much. He even let his mother fly over to give her a tour in Belgium. And when he was here he always went to eat in the Euterpia, a classic restaurant on the Cogels-Osylei in one of the most beautiful streets of Antwerp. He got his paintbrushes in a shop near the Antwerp Academy. In the MuHKA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, he painted a wall of the cafeteria. That work is still there. Keith Haring was born in 1958 and died in 1990 to the effects of AIDS.