In fall of 2004, eleven high school students from throughout
New York City met at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
to participate in an after-school program called “Keith
Haring: New Wave Aztec.” Students explored two exhibitions:
The Aztec Empire and an exhibition of original works by
artist Keith Haring, then created their own digital animations
in Flash MX, inspired by the works on view.
Over seven weeks, students identified themes and dualities
that resonated in both exhibitions, such as life and death,
power and struggle, and discord and harmony. In The Aztec
Empire, the group decoded symbols such as the serpent,
the eagle, and the skull. An exploration of Keith Haring’s
work focused on his appropriation of ancient signs and
symbols that were drawn from Aztec imagery, as well as
Mayan, ancient Egyptian, and African traditions. Using
the computer animation software program Flash MX, students
created an animated symbol to express a duality that had
meaning in their own lives.
The course culminated with a presentation of student work
in the New Media Theater in the Sackler Center for Arts
Education on December 8, 2004.
Keith Haring: New Wave Aztec was co-taught by new media
artist Michael Bell-Smith; Education Manager for New Media,
Rosanna Flouty; and New Media Intern Austin Fisher.
“Keith Haring: New Wave Aztec” was organized
by the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Solomon
R. Guggenheim Museum, in concert with the Keith Haring
The exhibition and related programming is supported by
the Keith Haring Foundation.