Keith Haring’s ‘NSFW’ men’s bathroom mural at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Centre New York, is about to be reopened to the public post its restoration. Since 2001 the bathroom has actually been a meeting room for the Centre, but for this month only it will be opened back up to the public.
In fact, the building itself, along with seminal work by Martin Wong, Kenny Scharf, Leon Golub, Barbara Sandler, and George Whitman from the historic 1989 installation exhibition “The Centre Show” has been restored.
The mural was famously painted just nine months before haring’s death from AIDS in 1990. The work was a beacon of acceptance during a time when the LGBT community needed it most. Since 2013 the room and the work has been closed for restoration.
The artist fought tirelessly in his work and personal life to end the AIDS epidemic. He established the Keith Haring Foundation in 1989 and enlisted his imagery during the last years of his life to speak about his own illness and generate activism and awareness about AIDS. By the time of his death, at the mere age of 31, Haring had achieved international fame. His influence on his own generation and those that have followed is a testament to his enduring vision.
The artist immersed himself in New York’s downtown culture, for the period of his short time on the scene; the artist quickly became a fixture in the New York art world, befriending other artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, as well as many of the most innovative cultural figures of the period. Thes relationships played a critical role in Haring’s development as a public artist and facilitator of group exhibitions and performances.
The explicit mural has also been featured on the popular New York–centric blog Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York. The mural will be back on display in January, when the building will reopen to the public with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony.