Paradise Garage

“Keith was a product of the whole street vibe. Paradise Garage was four walls to put the street in. He was about what the street was. What percolated on the street was what Keith was about.”
Junior Vasquez

Wherever Keith Haring was working, either on the street or in his studio, music was always playing. Haring’s work embodies the sounds of the New York streets and of streetwise clubs like Paradise Garage. You can almost hear the music that infuses the visual rhythm of his work. Haring was one of the rare artists who was able to visualize sound.

Reminiscing about Keith Haring and the Paradise Garage, Ann Magnuson wrote that “dancing was our pagan rite and the Paradise Garage, the first multi-cultural gay dance club, became Keith’s Pantheon.” In his journals, Haring wrote, “I don’t know if you know how important the Paradise Garage is, at least for me and the tribe of people who have shared many a collective spiritual experience there. The Garage also changed or affected my life incredibly through various ‘re-imprinting’ experiences and transformations.” Haring would even schedule his trips around the Garage, “leaving on Sundays and returning before or on Saturdays.”

The Paradise Garage was a club on the border of SoHo that was central to Keith Haring’s world from the early 1980s until it closed in 1987. Haring was the key figure behind the exuberant convergence of art, music and performance that developed there. This exhibition celebrates the creative fusion inspired by Haring and his Paradise Garage circle. The show includes both work that reflects the spirit of the Paradise Garage and work that was made for events and performances at the club. Larger paintings and objects are displayed in the main gallery space with a special day-glo room installed downstairs. Series of drawings of a transformed Brooke Shields and the Paradise Garage clientele are installed on the mezzanine.

Music by Junior Vasquez.