Part of Mar 2012 by

Virtual Keith Haring Tour

If Brooklyn wasn’t cool enough already, Flavorwire hosts a virtual tour of Keith Haring’s surviving New York City murals to compliment the Brooklyn Museum’s momentous exhibition of the artist’s early career.  The initial excitement of Flavorwire’s interactive google map lies in the nostalgic recognition of New York City’s familiar oblong grid, hosting virtual yellow avenues and streets sandwiched between two baby blue rivers and a long, skinny pistachio rectangle in the center.  Thick marigold lines replace the Henry Hudson Pkwy and FDR Drive to frame a broken circumference that can take you clear into Harlem and all the way upstate.  En route, you’ll pass the two-sided mural Crack is Whack and in Dobbs Ferry, a mural painted inside Children’s Village.

Six upside-down blue raindrops designate the locations of Haring’s murals and I’m psyched to navigate the city streets from afar as I daydream about being in New York: from 1979 to now.  Mimicking a museum-guided tour, Flavorwire provides descriptive text to inform my journey.  The only thing missing from this virtual creation is a visual on those colorful graphic subway lines for imagining a real-time Keith Haring-treasure-hunt.  Vying London’s underground map for unforgettable iconography, New York’s public transportation is so representative of the City that I can’t imagine seeing Haring’s work any other way.

If I click and drag the little yellow figure above google map’s zoom guides (which coincidentally looks like a Keith Haring figure with a stiff upper) and place him on a blue raindrop, google takes me to street level where I can have a good look around.  Unfortunately, I can’t see much in the way of art.  The only Haring piece google earth can get its virtual eyes on is Harlem’s Crack is Whack.  A little slippery behind the virtual steering wheel, I accidentally cross 2nd Avenue several times in search of the handball court wall on which the timely orange image is painted.  This geographic inertia may simulate the exhaustion of a hoofed search—on the East River edge of Harlem nonetheless.   Another four murals are housed in buildings and thus absent from view and data is “unavailable” for the one in Dobbs Ferry.  Bummer.  The only other Keith Haring works I’ll be seeing are via a good old-fashioned google image search—or a trip to New York.

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