A Monumental Keith Haring Mural in Amsterdam, Hidden for 3 Decades, Finally Sees Daylight

The largest mural in Europe by the artist has been hidden for 30 years in an old storage depot – until now

Keith Haring’s Amsterdam mural. Courtesy: AFP and Getty Images; photograph: Remko de Waal

Keith Haring’s Amsterdam mural. Courtesy: AFP and Getty Images; photograph: Remko de Waal

Keith Haring’s Amsterdam mural. Courtesy: AFP and Getty Images; photograph: Remko de Waal

A monumental 12-metre-high mural by the late New York artist Keith Haring has recently been uncovered in Amsterdam – it’s the largest of its kind in Europe. After spending three decades in the darkness, it was finally revealed last week at a press conference in the city’s Market Quarter.

The artwork features the thick-white outlines of a figure astride a dog-headed sea monster. The piece dates back to Haring’s solo exhibition in 1986 at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. Over the course of 2 days, the artist painted the piece on the wall of one of the museum’s storage depots, located in a working class neighbourhood – Haring intended it as a gift to the city. 

Only a few years after being painted, Haring’s Amsterdam mural was boarded up with aluminium panels to control the internal temperature of the building. Its grand reveal has been the work of years of local campaigning – with graffiti artist Mick La Rock (real name Aileen Middel) and the Dutch gallery Vroom&Varossieu leading the ‘Save Our Haring’ project, after discovering the former depot was slated for demolition. 

Haring passed away in 1990, aged just 31, from Aids complications. Known for his signature UFOs, barking dogs and ‘radiant babies’, the graffiti artist transposed these figures onto monumental mural projects across the world (Haring’s next largest in Europe is his famous Pisa mural, painted on the side of a church).

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