NEW YORK, NY.-
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center) has released a hardcover book of photographs of its Keith Haring Bathroom featuring the artist's "Once Upon a Time" mural. The project, conceptualized by commercial photographer Travis Dubreuil, is in response to the rooms temporary closure for protection during The Centers on-going renovation.
"This mural is one of my favorites of Keith Haring's, and when I found out that it was going to be off display I wanted to document it so others could enjoy it," said Dubreuil, a New York-based photographer who volunteered for the project. "I was a gay kid who grew up in the 1980s in a small town. This mural serves as a reminder of a much different time for the LGBT community, and yet it is also empowering today in its hyper-sexual and free spirited nature."
Created as a part of The Center Show, a public art installation held at The Center in 1989 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, Harings mural was one of the last works by the artist before his death from AIDS, and is the only Haring mural of its kind. Featuring frank yet playful depictions of gay male sexuality, Harings work is a direct response to the AIDS crisis. Its title, "Once Upon a Time," alludes to a sexually liberated era for LGBT individuals before the threat of HIV/AIDS.
"Keith created this mural during a time when gay sex was either not talked about or talked about in an entirely negative and shameful way," said Glennda Testone, The Center's Executive Director. "Keith found a way to celebrate gay sexuality and offer some joy in what was otherwise an extremely dark time for the LGBT community as we faced the AIDS epidemic."
The book is available for purchase for $50 at blurb.com
, with proceeds benefiting The Center.