Street artist Emma Blake creates stunning mural of activist and artist Keith Haring and progress pride flag on Street 66

A new mural created by Emma Blake on Street 66 illustrates the beauty and power of community, art and activism as the progress pride flag flies high.

image of pub front Street 66 painted in the progress rainbow flag with a portrait of Keith Haring
Image: @emmaleneblake

Street artist Emma Blake has created a powerful mural along Street 66 which celebrates the progress pride flag and pays tribute to the art and activism of Keith Haring.

The back of Dublin’s most renowned LGBT+ bar Street 66 has been brought to life with the colours of community, art and activism. In a dazzling display of the progress pride flag, Blake pays homage to the creative work of Keith Haring, a leading voice in the fight for safe sex and AIDS awareness.

On Twitter, Blake shared an image of her jaw dropping mural with the caption, “It was a bit of a challenging canvas, but I’m really happy with the finished piece, looking forward to having drinks here when they finally get to open.”

Street 66 gave people a sneak peek of Blake’s design along with a few more murals inside the bar over on their Facebook. In a lovely video, they showcased a wonderful piece of Mexican painter Frieda Kahlo.

Blake further detailed her inspiration for this piece, “The progress pride flag was designed by Daniel Quasar. It’s a redesign of the rainbow LGBTQ pride flag. It includes black & brown stripes to represent marginalised LGBTQ communities of colour, along with the colours pink, light blue & white, which are the transgender pride flag.”

“As well as painting a portrait of Keith Haring, I wanted to pay tribute to his work as well as the activism which much of his work was embedded in. One of the main issues Haring highlighted in his work was AIDS, wanting to break the silence & the stigma & to spread awareness,” Blake continued. 

Keith Allen Haring was an American artist whose style grew out of 1980s New York street culture, with many pieces featuring eye-catching and bold pop art. His work was an important wake-up call for people to educate themselves and raise awareness around AIDS, especially in terms of his artistic creation “Ignorance = Fear”. 

Keith Harring's iconic Ignorance =fear mural, showing three people covering their eyes, ears, and mouth, which Emma Blake tributes in her Street 66 mural

Street artist Emma Blake expressed, “Thanks so much to Street 66 for this commission. I loved getting to paint and pay tribute to my favourite artist.”

Within her Twitter thread, the street artist outlined the critical activism being spearheaded by ACT UP, both in America and Ireland, in terms of HIV and AIDS awareness. She illustrated the importance of ACT UP Dublin’s inspirational campaign U=U (Undetectable = Untransmittable).

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