To learn that artist Keith Haring’s work was on exhibit in Florence was a real surprise. But’s it doesn’t end there – you can also see Haring’s final mural in nearby Pisa.
The exhibit we saw at Palazzo Riccardi is running until February 6th, 2018. The show is comprised of Haring’s early work and his fellow 1980-90 New York City street artists. One of these street artists was also Haring’s friend, Paolo Buggiani. Thanks to Buggiani, who saved some of Haring’s early work, we’re able to see Haring’s early subway posters, chalk drawings and colorful graffiti murals.
The exhibit made me miss New York and reminded me how influential New York City is all over the world. Most Europeans I’ve met love going there or wish to go there. There are a surprising amount of people wearing “I ❤ NY” shirts and New York Yankees baseball caps around Europe.
Paolo Buggiani is a very talented and politically centered artist himself. Check this video out here for just a taste of what he’s all about:
Before we took a look at the Haring art, we couldn’t pass up seeing the building this exhibit was in. Entering Palazzo Riccardi you are taken back in time to the Medici era. The palace was designed by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo for Cosimo de’ Medici and was built between 1444 – 1484. The first room you enter is perhaps the most important section of the palace due to its history and famed fresco. The Magi Chapel was painted by Benozzo Gozzoli, who completed it around 1459. Gozzoli included members of the Medici family and their allies in the fresco. The Medicis would pray in this chapel. That is perhaps the most interesting thing to think of when standing before the altar. You are standing in a small chapel where the Medicis once prayed.
With room after room filled with medieval era tapestries, Murano glass chandeliers, Renaissance paintings, artifacts, and more elaborate frescos this palace is truly a treasure trove.