Tuttomondo: Keith Haring’s murals in Pisa

 

Tuttomondo: Keith Haring’s murals in Pisa

"Art is for everyone. I want to work for this goal." This was the philosophy of Keith Haring, the American artist best known for his urban graffiti.

Keith Haring honored the city of Pisa in Tuscany with one of his most beautiful graffiti: Tuttomondo, a unique work in the world and today the largest murals ever made in Europe.

Keith Haring arrived in Pisa in 1989, a few years before his death, invited by a young student met in New York, his hometown.

Keith Haring liked Pisa so much that he offered immediately to realize a mural for it, but he needed a wide space, just like that of the Church of Sant'Antonio Abate could offer. 180 square meters of space for his images made of color and peace.

Haring made usually his works in just one day, but here he needed four days to complete the graffiti, showing the great care and attention he used for it. First, he colored in white the entire surface, then he traced the outlines of the figures in black and in the end, he painted the inside with the help of students and local artisans.

The result was a joyful dance of 30 bodies and figures around the cross of Pisa, with animals and symbols of good and evil. Haring for the first time gave a name to his work: Tuttomondo. A unique word, which carries within it the desire for universal peace and unity that inspired many works of Haring.

Keith Haring deeply loved every centimeter of Tuttomondo and perhaps that is why it is still considered one of the most meaningful and energetic works of the artist. In fact, he wrote in his diary: "The weather was beautiful and the food even better. It took me four days to paint. I'm in a hotel directly facing the wall, so I see it before I fall asleep and when I wake up. There is always someone who looks at it (the other night even at 4 am). It's really interesting to see people's reactions."

The murals Tuttomondo made by Keith Haring in Pisa was completely restored in 2012 and is still visible in all its extraordinary beauty in front of the Central Station, in the rear facade of the Church of Saint Anthony, at any time of day or night, free of charge, as Haring wanted it to be.

 

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