Design & Style

NGV Friday Nights is back with an ‘80s-era lineup.

10 February 2020

Design & Style

NGV Friday Nights is back with an ‘80s-era lineup.

10 February 2020

Someone viewing three Keith Haring artworks on display at the NGV Crossing Lines exhibition.

Access the Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines exhibition as part of the NGV’s Friday Nights series until April 11, 2020. Image: Tom Ross.

The National Gallery of Victoria’s famous Friday Nights series is back for another season, this time matching New York-inspired street food and an impressive DJ line up with the world-exclusive Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines exhibition.

Haring and Basquiat were two of the most influential artists of the late 20th century. The exhibition, which runs until Sunday April 13 2020, two days after the Friday Nights series wraps, explores the similarities and disparities between the artists’ works and lives in New York City in the 1980s.  

A single Jean-Michel Basquiat painting on display at the NGV.

See the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat up close at NGV’s Friday Nights series. Image: Tom Ross.

As well as access to the exhibition, which features more than 200 artworks, your ticket will get you into the NGV Garden where local and international DJs, handpicked for their classic ‘80s sounds, will be performing from 6pm until 10pm every Friday night. Since the series kicked off in early December, the decks have been graced by artists including Ge-Ology and Natasha Diggs, both from New York, and the Melbourne-born but Los Angeles-based singer Banoffee.

Still to come are London duo Alex Rita & Errol, who'll be supported by Melbourne's Simona Castricium on February 14; Ruby Savage, also from the UK, and Soju Gang on February 28, and Detroit's Nicole Misha, supported by local talent DJ Manchild, on April 3.

London duo Alex Rita & Errol pose for a photo

London duo Alex Rita & Errol will be performing on February 14. Image: Crown Ruler.

As well as dancing to everything from disco and jazz to post-punk, the NGV’s Friday Nights series gives you a chance to up your knowledge with exhibition talks lead by various NGV staff members and guests. On February 14 NGV Curatorial Project Officer Meg Slater will speak about the different signature motifs adopted by Haring and Basquiat. This will be followed by a talk from Anna Dzenis, Lecturer in Creative Arts at La Trobe University, on how Basquiat defined the 1980s New York art scene.

In early March, listen to NGV Guide Yamini Naidu explore the shared interests of Haring and Basquiat, including street art, performance and dance, symbols and words, racism and politics, and NGV curator Pip Wallis talk to the ways the artists’ work engaged with the social and political issues of their time. For the full program line up, including both music and exhibition talks, head to the NGV website.  

Soju Gang poses for a photo

Melbourne-based hip-hop DJ Soju Gang will be performing on February 28. Image: C-Pash.

If food and drinks are more your scene, CLOSET, one of Melbourne’s longest running queer parties, has collaborated with the NGV on the CLOSET Disco Bar. Aside from a wide array of LGBTQIA+ DJs and performance artists who appear throughout the evenings, there is wine from Yering Station, plus retro snacks like cheese and salami platters, oysters, prawn cocktails and more. At the Bombay Sapphire Gin and Asahi Super Dry bars, expect cocktails, beer and New York street-inspired dishes including fried buffalo chicken with ranch dressing, a toasted Reuben sandwich with pastrami and sauerkraut, and a classic NYC hotdog.

“With late-night access to Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat | Crossing Lines presented alongside an impressive line-up of live music, classic cocktails, and delicious street food, NGV Friday Nights promises a vibrant tribute to ‘80s New York City during the heart of Melbourne’s summer,” says Tony Ellwood AM, Director of the NGV.

Tickets to NGV Friday Nights are $28 for Members, $35 for Adults and $16 for children if booked online. Entry includes late-night access to the Crossing Lines exhibition plus music, bars and dining options. To book or for more information, visit the NGV website.  

By Anna Webster