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Jean-Michel Basquiat, Back of the Neck, 1983
Keith Haring, Untitled (Pop Shop Drawings), 1985
Kenny Scharf, Anxious dog, 1985

Basquiat, Haring, Scharf

1 April 2022 - 15 May 2022



Opera Gallery Hong Kong is pleased to announce a large-scale group exhibition Basquiat, Haring, Scharf, celebrating the work and friendship of three American icons; Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf. Opening on Friday 1st April 2022, the exhibition will comprise around 40 artworks that explore the vernacular and radical artistic dialogue pulsating between these three artists in New York’s East Village during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Scharf has described the relationship between himself, Basquiat and Haring as one anchored in a friendly rivalry that inspired and encouraged their individual and distinctive creative processes. Often referring to themselves as ‘the three musketeers’, they revelled in the same street culture, often explored the same topics, and shared a belief that art was meant to be universal and accessible by the youth. Passing through an immersive installation of three artists’ works that will take over the gallery, visitors will be able to see major works by Basquiat, Haring and Scharf curated across all three floors of the gallery.

Jean-Michel Basquiat, a self-taught artist, started his career as an informal graffiti duo with Al Diaz named SAMO during the late 1970s. He first exhibited in a group show, along with Haring and Scharf, in 1980 that marked a turning point for him. Basquiat’s street art and Neo- Expressionist style are characterised by visually striking combinations of numerals, pictograms, anatomy drawings and commercial graphics, addressing topics such as wealth versus poverty and integration versus segregation. His powerful drawings and paintings continue to challenge perceptions, provoke dialogues and empower the audience to think critically about society.

Best known for his mural works, iconic motifs and pop graffiti technique, Keith Haring’s creations responded to the contemporary social events of his times. Inspired by traditional street art and a philosophy of “The public has the right to art. Art is for everyone”, Haring initially made his drawings on empty advertising spaces in New York’s subway stations. He developed a signature pictorial vocabulary, combining bright and contrasting colours that grabbed the viewers’ attention, and which were accessible by anyone, regardless of age, language, and background.

A school mate and friend of Haring’s during their time at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York, Kenny Scharf describes himself as a “pop surrealist”; his practice spans painting, sculpture, fashion, video, performance art, and street art. Scharf’s hallucinatory worlds are inspired by comic books and pop culture; his principle is to reach out beyond the elitist borders of fine art and connect to popular culture through his works.


Opera Gallery is a modern and contemporary art gallery founded in 1994 by Gilles Dyan. Today, Opera Gallery has a network of 14 galleries around the world: New York, Miami, Bal Harbour, Aspen, London, Paris, Monaco, Geneva, Dubai, Beirut, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul.

As a key player in the Asian art market, Opera Gallery Hong Kong relocated to a new space in 2021 with a ground level 5,500-square-foot exhibition space welcoming collectors and visitors in Central Hong Kong. Located at The Galleria, at 9 Queen’s Road Central, Opera Gallery Hong Kong is headed by Director Olivier Demblum. Opera Gallery Hong Kong permanently presents a selection of artworks by modern, post-war and contemporary artists such as Pablo Picasso, Jean Dubuffet, Alexander Calder, Pierre Soulages, Manolo Valdés and Georg Baselitz as well as monographic, collective or thematic exhibitions.


1 April 2022
15 May 2022
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