Category: 1980s art

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Keith Haring painting an outdoor mural with school children in Phoenix, Arizona, 1986.

Photos by Tseng Kwong Chi

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Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Roland Hagenberg in his Crosby Street studio, 1983.

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Keith Haring painting the National Gallery of Victoria mural in Australia, February 1984.

In 1984 during a three week visit to Australia, New York artist Keith Haring undertook a number of public art events. The artist’s willingness to create a deliberately ephemeral work at the NGV, on glass, accorded with “Haring’s desire to devaluate a presumed superiority of individualistic drawing on paper or canvas over other kinds of cultural artifacts, considering all surface as having equal worth.”

Haring first set up the small ghetto-blaster he carried everywhere, which was decorated by artist Kenny Scharf. John Buckley recalled him at work:

“With his beaut little Kenny Scharf radio that he brought over with him from New York, that was blasting away the whole time. He loved the scissor-lift. He was like a kid with a new toy, because he had never been on a scissor-lift before, and he just had the best fun with that. [Before too long] he was a pro with it; he knew how to manoeuvre it in the finest possible way.”

Haring had been brought to look at the window only a day or two before he began the mural. Without any template or grid-lines he painted proportionally without any hesitation or mistakes.

Haring painting constantly at eye level, not needing to move the cherry picker back to judge how the whole might be coming together. As Haring himself observed at this time:

“One of the things I have been most interested in is the role of chance in situations – letting things happen by themselves. My drawings are never pre-planned. I never sketch a plan for a drawing, even for huge wall murals.”

Haring was also happy to be interrupted at any point, frequently stopping his painting to talk to visiting schoolchildren, sign autographs and quickly sketch souvenir drawings for curious new fans of his work – returning to the mural after each of these intermissions without missing a beat.

Source

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Keith Haring photographed by Jeannette Montgomery Barron, 1985.

“This was taken in Keith’s studio on lower Broadway. Every single inch of his walls was covered with drawings. I really didn’t have to do anything – Keith just went through his poses while I snapped the shutter. ”

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Keith Haring and Andy Warhol at the opening night of the Palladium nightclub in New York City, May 1985.

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Artist Keith Haring attends the PRO-Peace Benefit to Raise Funds for the Great Peace March at the Palladium in New York City

on January 18, 1986. 

Photos by Ron Galella

Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Louis Jammes in Paris, 1988.  

Jean-Michel Basquiat photographed by Yutaka Sakano in Tokyo for Issey Miyake in 1983.

Yutaka Sakano: “One day in July 1983, I received a phone call from Midori Kitamura, Issey Miyake’s assistant who was in charge of press relations at the time. She tells me that a young artist named Basquiat, who has become a sensation in New York, was coming to Japan, and she asked me if I could photograph him for a men’s fashion magazine. I immediately reserve studio # 8 in the basement of Studio Azabu, which no longer exists today. The day of the shooting, I loaded in my car a hand made backdrop and went to the rendezvous in a good mood. This is the first time I met Basquiat. I did not know anything about him. He looks like a wonderful young man. He takes the initiative during the shooting, improvising all kinds of poses. It is also the first time he meets me, and we did not speak each other language, having to opt instead for hand gestures communication. He did his best to comply with the guidelines given by the Japanese photographer that I am. Even though the photos are for color publication, I always take black and white photos for my own use. And if I find the subject particularly interesting, all the shooting is also done in B&W.” 

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Keith Haring body-painting Grace Jones in New York City, 1985.

(Photos by Tseng Kwong Chi)

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Madonna licking Jean-Michel Basquiat’s leg in the back of his limo, 1983.