Keith Haring

The next evolution of our custom-curated Pop-In Shops is now live online and in selected stores. In stark contrast to our previous Pop-In, French Fling, which was a wistful homage to Gainsbourg ballads and Godard films, this one is more like a monstrously cool mash-up of a mad scientist’s laboratory and 1982 sci-fi epic Tron.

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In an homage to the anonymous geniuses who engineered the everyday works of art (like street signs, film stills, and home interiors) that found their way onto Sam Shipley’s and Jeff Halmos’s Spring 2013 inspiration board, the NYC design duo loosely titled their new collection The Unknown Artist.

Despite that (or perhaps because of it), the S&H guys—masters of wry humor as well as rounding out your wardrobe—decided to cast 6 not-so-unknown artists in the stylish faux-portrait above. Below, Sam and Jeff of Shipley & Halmos discuss an artwork by each modern master that has, in some way, influenced their own aesthetic. Click each artist’s name to learn more.

1. Joseph Beuys, I Like America and America Likes Me, 1974. “Beuys as an artist might be as iconic as the works he created. You’ve seen his trademark hat, and always wondered what it would be like to wear one of his felt suit sculptures.”

2. Keith Haring, ‘Crack is Wack’ Mural, 1986. “When driving through Harlem on the way back down to Manhattan, you can see this original Keith Haring mural from 1986, one of the finest examples of graffiti art in the world. So happy the city of NY has kept its condition in such great shape. It’s inspiring each and every time we see it.”

3. Pablo Picasso, Chien, Coq Et Pierrot, 1970. “What can we say about Picasso that hasn’t already been said? The guy was a master, and is almost always a reference point for us. His detailed sketches, such as this one, inspired some of our recent print work.”

4. Roy Lichtenstein, Still Life with Portrait, 1974. “This particular Lichtenstein painting inspired a T-shirt graphic a few seasons back. Our rendition included a frosty beer, hamburger, fries, and framed picture of MJ circa 1988.”

5. Richard Prince, Untitled (From ‘Cowboy’ Series), 1980-1992. “Prince’s Cowboy series is an interesting example of blending classic Americana with a modern pop-art feel. The works are currently being shown [through April 6] at the Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles. As a present-day artist, Prince is so versatile in almost every medium.”

6. David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967. “During the winter doldrums, flip open a book of Hockney’s work (one of Jeff’s personal favorites)—especially his Pool series. The color palette and subject matter instantly reminds you that summer is almost here!”


[Portrait collage and artwork images courtesy of Shipley & Halmos. All artwork is © the artists noted. Individuals featured do not endorse Nordstrom.]


The captionless photo above appeared on Obey’s official blog last month—announcing, without saying a word, an upcoming collaboration with legendary New York street artist Keith Haring (1958-1990).

Haring’s work is some of the most instantly recognizable of the ’80s, and possibly all time. After moving to NYC in 1978 at age 19, his first public attention came from chalk drawings in subway terminals. With a style that artist and Obey founder Shepard Fairey described as “refined but primitive, deliberate buy lyrical and energetic,” much of Haring’s work sought to raise awareness of important social issues of his time, including drug abuse, AIDS, and apartheid.

Untitled, 1982 (via)

Boy on Dolphin, 1986 (via)

Growing #4, 1988 (via)

Medusa, 1986 (via)

Keith Haring À Paris, 1986 (via)

Untitled, 1984 (via)

BMW Z1, 1990 (via)


The first T-shirt in the series is available now—and pictured below, along with an untitled 1983 piece that gives the shirt design some added context. (via)

Check back for more on Keith Haring x Obey in the coming weeks—we’ll introduce a new item about once a month.

In the meantime, hear Shepard Fairey’s thoughts on Haring’s legacy in the video below, and view dozens more inspired works at the Keith Haring Foundation’s official site.


[Video courtesy of Individuals featured do not endorse Nordstrom.]