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New York
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New York  Art at Site www.newyorkart.nl Keith 		Haring	Crack is Wack
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Keith Haring

Crack is Wack

1986
128th Street, 2nd Avenue
Website
www.art-nerd.com:
There are a few places in New York where you can feel like you’ve transported back in time for just a second- when Keith Haring was still ruling New York wall space. The other pieces are more private- the Carmine Pool, LGBT bathroom, Pop Shop ceiling…but the awesome Crack is Wack mural confronts you just as you’re reentering the city after an Upstate excursion on Upper Manhattan.
Restored by the late artist’s estate in 2007, Keith Haring painted this orange and black mural on the opposite side of a handball court wall in 1986 as a reaction to the raging crack-cocaine epidemic in New York. Although we love to glamorize the “creativity and downtown scene” of the 80s, Haring’s piece reminds us that the city was kind of a war zone, with crime and drugs running rampant around the bombed out looking Lower East Side.
This “Crack is Wack” mural was one of the best surviving murals that Haring produced illegally, which is ironic considering the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation was behind the restoration and protection. Its placement on a handball court let’s us feel for minute what it was like to live in New York 25 years ago.