One of the most commercially successful pop artists in American history has seen his artwork posted upon a veritable swath of urban canvasses. Keith Haring—a man whose art helped shape the visual language during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s—has a unique style that many Americans are familiar with (even if you don’t recall his name). Vibrant colors and androgynous cartoon-like illustrations of people in various poses/shapes are the hallmarks of his renowned works. Influencing the visual art styles of his contemporaries, Haring is still considered one of the more influential North American artists of the late 20th century.
What’s interesting about the success of his art (or any pop art for that matter) is that its greatest monetary successes were/are derived from merchandising. T-shirts, sweaters, pants, bottles, etc…have all donned his artwork over the years. There is no exception in this regard to wristwatches. Though Keith’s work might be more commonly seen on canvas, on a shirt, or in mural form—his work has also been commemorated on plethora timepieces. One of the standout examples of this is the Nov. 2nd, 2019 release of Casio’s Keith Haring line of G-Shocks. With a public image of street-wise fashion, the G-Shock series from Casio derives a lot of its customer base and design inspiration from urban art forms. Both born from the 1980s, the pairing of Haring’s work with a G-Shock is quite era-appropriate.
There are two Keith Haring watches available from Casio as part of their 2019 limited release. One is dubbed the “DW-5600KEITH19-4” and the other “DW-5600KEITH19-7” (very serial number-y (in true G-Shock fashion)). The prior is an all-red case-and-band watch featuring various Haring paintings (which are printed in white). Its two-tone style displays examples of his more-famous images—each encompassing the entire body of the piece. The latter (19-7) is a white watch covered with pink, yellow, and blue images of people in various poses—perhaps a little more familiar to fans of Haring’s style. Both watches are shaped in retro G-Shock style. This means a smaller dial with classic Casio flair. Functioning as throwbacks for both fans of Haring’s art and Casio’s original DW-5600 design, each watch exudes style. Fans of the G-Shock series can still expect standard features—stopwatch, backlight, countdown timer, etc…—while wearing a Haring G-Shock.
Each watch is stamped
on the back with Haring’s signature. Another great addition to these G-Shocks
are the different backlight images on both. The red 19-4 has a visible
Haring-heart image when it’s lit up. When the white one lights up, there’s a
static image of a person in motion (similar to the art on the case and band).
This more subtle touch is great fan service and adds more overflowing personality
to each piece.
A Good Cause
Keith Haring himself died in 1990. Much of his legacy is carried on by the Keith Haring Foundation (KHF). The KHF collaborated with Casio to release these new G-Shocks. KHF works to preserve Haring’s art, provide grants to young artists, and help children that are affected by HIV. Promoting Haring’s art through big collaborations like this one give the KHF an opportunity to share Haring’s philanthropic/socially minded legacy. Each of the two custom G-Shocks come with a custom case which mirrors the images on the watches. Each one is tied to an artform born of concern for others around the globe. That being said, these watches are currently only available in the U.S.—available for purchase online or at select retailers. For fans of modern art, or Haring’s message, this is a must piece for the 2019 holiday season.
View the most popular G-Shock watches.
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