Embarrassing Art STORY!

Gather round small children, because I have a story to tell. Everybody has embarrassing moments. Some worse than others. Some that will stick to your soul like an allergic reaction. Well here is one, in which I completely flub up a moment about the artist Keith Haring.


It was my Freshman year of college, spring semester. Before my dreams of becoming an artist had been put on hold, I took a fundamentals class. If you didn’t get into the Arts Program with a portfolio, you were encouraged to take a fundamentals class to beef it up and try again the following semester. It was a basic fundamentals class, so we it acted like an Art History + Art Appreciation + Techniques class. We had just started talking about a lot of pop and contemporary artist. You know who I’m talking about. Anyway the project that we would work on is social commentary art.

I decided to do mine on colorism in the black community. In retrospect, I could have done so much with that project, but it was a class full of white people and one Asian girl, so it wasn’t like anyone was going to really challenge my work on the subject. Someone did one on war. When it was time to present our pieces, we were subject to class critiques. This allowed us to not only engage each other as artist and audiences, but forced us to really use the knowledge we were learning in class about art. When I had saw the piece on war, immediately I could see the Keith Haring influences. Simple character designs, bright colors. I was excited. I hated giving critiques (or any commentary), because I felt lowkey dumb. But this was a moment where I could really stand up.

Well, I said something about the piece…and God bless me…I said I was getting ANDY WARHOL VIBES.

Andy Warhol 1983, printed 1990 by Robert Mapplethorpe 1946-1989

Once again, I had seen Haring in it. It was SO OBVIOUS. I had registered Haring. Even when I said the wrong name…I was think Haring. But for some reason, I said the wrong artist…and the professor said this.

Professor: Are you sure?


Me: Yeah…

As if nothing was wrong with what I said. It didn’t register with me until two minutes later, into someone else’s critique that I realized what the hell I just said.

I WAS EMBARRASSED. And I didn’t say a thing.

There is no moral to this story. In fact this still haunts me to this day. But…we move on and keep pushing. But cringing at your memories will always happen. And yes..you’re allowed to cry.


Sources: Keith Haring, Andy Warhol



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