Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, Photographs, Film, and Video

Art and Coming Out

Portrait of Keith Haring and Juan Dubose / Andy Warhol

Portrait of Keith Haring and Juan Dubose, 1983, Andy Warhol. Polacolor print, 3 3/4 x 2 7/8 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 98.XM.168.7. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Today is National Coming Out Day, which seeks to promote a safe world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. 

Keith Haring was one of the early advocates of the movement, donating a drawing of a person dancing out of the proverbial closet for the NCOD logo. His graphic style is renowned for mixing pop, graffiti, and street art. You can browse a database of his work on the Keith Haring Foundation website.

This Polaroid by Andy Warhol of Haring and his partner, Juan Dubose, presents a portrait of the couple that is both intimate and somber—both faced early deaths from AIDS.

Today celebrates equality and the legacy of pioneers like Haring and Warhol, who showed their identity proudly and used the power of art to connect us.

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One Comment

  1. amra
    Posted October 11, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Kudos for honoring this special day! And I love the NCOD logo by Haring, very celebratory and lively… surprised that I had not discovered this before. Always learning something new here. Big thanks!

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      It’s been 125 years since Van Gogh’s death, today we celebrate his life’s work.


      5 Ways to See Van Gogh’s Irises

      Through observations, visitor conversations, and some sneaky eavesdropping, we’ve compiled the top 5 ways people enjoy this painting.

      1. In a Crowd
        One of the most obvious ways that people see the painting is in a crowd. The gallery is almost always filled, and you might have to wait before you can get up close. The anticipation builds as you start in the back row, and slowly move until you are close enough to see the brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s thick paint.

      2. Online
        David from Colorado said that this was his first visit, but he had already seen the painting online. In addition to being available through the Getty’s Open Content program, the painting is often seen on social media. Just search #irises on Instagram for a taste of the painting’s popularity. 

      3. Alone
        If you arrive right at 10 a.m. when the museum opens, the quiet gallery provides a perfect backdrop to really examine the painting. Solitude and seclusion gives the gallery a sense of intimacy. 

      4. Multiple Times
        Repeat visits can give rise to multiple interpretations. Is it a melancholy or joyous painting? Expressive or depressive? 

      5. Internationally
        Visitors from all across the world viewed this famous Van Gogh. In just one hour you can hear multiple languages—French, Italian, Chinese, Korean, German, and more. Irises seems to rise above cultural boundaries—a Dutch painting inspired by Japanese ukiyo-e prints—to strike an emotional resonance amongst all viewers. 

      What is your favorite lens to view Van Gogh’s work through? 

      07/29/15

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