“Into” is a series dedicated to objects, artworks, garments, exhibitions, and all orders of things that we are into—and there really isn’t a lot more to it than that. Today: Ernest Macias makes a case for K.Haring, a new collection of vibrant weed paraphernalia for the aesthete with a passion for art, and the art of getting high.
The cannabis awakening in America, and the world at large, has been a slow but sure one. Weed—as the flower is known in common parlance—has morphed into a cultural symbol. One could argue that marijuana is experiencing a sort of renaissance in our cultural conscience, from gateway drug to anxiety-relieving, pain-reducing panacea. Thanks to gentrified cafes serving CBD-infused matcha lattes and housewives speaking openly about THC micro-dosing to cope with motherhood, marijuana is in vogue yet again. As a result of this newfound appreciation for the flower and all its benefits, the range of artifacts used to burn grass has expanded. It is no longer necessary to visit a smoke shop masquerading as 24-hour bodega to buy your “tobacco pipe”—also known as a bong, bubbler, pipe, or one-hitter, for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. Enter K. Haring, a collection of marijuana paraphernalia described as “vibrant glass art,” sold locally at Higher Standards, the chic one-stop-shop inside Chelsea Market dedicated to elevating the smoking experience. Think of it as an art gallery, but for the dazed and confused.
The collection features a wide range of 10 pipes, accessories, and decor embellished with Keith Haring‘s colorful and legendary figures, which established the artist as a notorious face, and voice, of New York’s downtown art scene. A standout piece from the collection (and personal favorite) is the K.Haring bubbler, available in two versions—one color, one black and white—and decorated with the artist’s famously recognizable outline drawings. As a self-proclaimed aesthete, I’ve established a rather healthy and respectful relationship with cannabis. She’s there for me when I need her most, and even in instances when I don’t need her, she’s there to take me above and beyond. Although I swear by the classic spliff or joint, the bubbler has become a personal favorite in my otherwise lackluster collection of paraphernalia—not to mention that it also doubles as a treasured and iconic piece of art from one of the many New York icons I grew up admiring. Another piece worth investing in from the collection is the “Crack is Wack” tray, paying direct homage to the artist’s transcendent 1986 mural, which he originally painted at 128th street and 2nd avenue in Harlem. Despite its aesthetic allure, the tray also serves as a not-so-subtle reminder that synthetic drugs are indeed wack, and there’s nothing better than that which comes from Mother Nature herself. Although there are multitudes of tools to help you reach the clouds, K. Haring’s glass art is for those who understand the organic, and dare I say a necessary, relationship between the creative process and getting high as a kite.