The guerrilla warfare strategy
Contemporary Art | The 104 exhibition retrospective at the Museum of modern art with more than 250 pieces under the banners of « Keith Haring, the Political Line » and « Keith Haring, les grands formats » is a lesson in communication.
Put your hands up, let your heart sing and your ideas soar. Keith Haring, a committed street artist has invented a visual vocabulary with messages conveyed through image in a joyful tone with swathes of colour that everyone can share in. He employs a guerrilla warfare strategy : invading urban space, and appropriating places exposed to the public eye (along urban motorways, on campuses, the Necker hospital tower, and on film posters) on a grand scale, playing on repetition (and since 1980, simple collages made from press cuttings and slogans). With his Pop Shop that opened in Soho in 1986, he has made his way into many a household with his posters, multiples, tee shirts and colouring books, and spread political messages. And his pictograms, combined with geometric shapes and sketched in a single line, portraying babies, wolves, monkeys or hands with startling simplicity, diffuse the artist’s political symbolism and commitments to a wide-ranging audience. Nowadays, brands are using this guerrilla warfare strategy, particularly with guerrilla advertising : in the street, performance art, pop up stores or related products.