Monday, 25 January 2016

Keith Haring Journals


Keith Haring is synonymous with the downtown New York art scene of the 1980's. His artwork-with its simple, bold lines and dynamic figures in motion-filtered in to the world's consciousness and is still instantly recognizable, twenty years after his death. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition features ninety black-and-white images of classic artwork and never-before-published Polaroid images, and is a remarkable glimpse of a man who, in his quest to become an artist, instead became an icon.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Editorial Reviews


From Publishers Weekly

From the age of 19 until his death from AIDS in 1990 when he was 32, artist Keith Haring kept handwritten notebooks in which he recorded thoughts on his work, his personal relationships, his homosexuality, the books he had read, other artists and his commercial success. An internationally renowned pop icon by the time he was 24, Haring presumably knew the journals would eventually be made public. As a result, some of the entries betray a youthful self-consciousness. Nevertheless, these outspoken statements provide insight into the sexuality that permeates Haring's art and reveal a great deal about his aesthetics, creative development, working methods, competitiveness with other artists, openness to new experiences, love of children, devotion to friends and determination to go on in the face of death. The entries are arranged by year, and lists of Haring's exhibitions and projects are appended. An appreciative introduction by Yale art historian Thompson sets Haring's work in context. Illustrations not seen by PW. BOMC selection.

Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The journals Haring kept since high school, here illustrated with previously unpublished drawings, should help to illuminate his cheery, raucous street art.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


From Booklist

The canonization of Keith Haring (1958^-90)--that is, the project to install him in the canon of great American artists--continues with the publication of his journals, which he wrote to be read by others, so confident was he that he would attain artistic success. There is much that is jejune in them, most of it youthful stuff about moods, sex, and political and social concerns. But Haring was a competent writer as well as a keen student of artists' lives and writings, and he communicates his responses to what he read and saw and his own intentions and aspirations with infectious excitement. As impressive as his reactions and ambitions is the globe-trotting he chronicles, undertaken to spread his graffiti-like imagery, which both his testimony and that of Robert Farris Thompson's introduction argue is indebted as much to Dubuffet, Leger, Frank Stella, and Alechinsky, among older artists, and to the break-and electric boogie dancers of 1980s New York as to urban America's spray-can brigades. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


From Kirkus Reviews

Recorded in sporadic bursts at various points in his brief career, these journals attest more to the late artist's amazing industry than to his analytical or descriptive powers. Early entries, from 1978 to 1980, show Haring the adolescent Deadhead arriving in New York and laying out an aesthetic program. Pages of word associations and sophomoric aphorisms about the role of art are of interest purely as juvenilia, but Haring discusses with remarkable self-assurance his desire to make art accessible to the general public: ``There is an audience that is being ignored, but they are not necessarily ignorant. They are open to art when it is open to them.'' From 1980 to 1985, Haring found his trademark cartoon-graffiti style, famously began drawing on blank advertising panels in New York City subway stations, and rapidly became the most Pop and popular of artists, his work proliferating on T-shirts, posters, and urban murals. Unfortunately, however, Haring wrote almost nothing during his transition from eager student to international celebrity. The journals resume as a record of trips abroad to oversee exhibitions, and to create artworks and a store in Tokyo, but lively anecdotes are in short supply. The virtual absence of editorial notes, irritating throughout, seems almost malicious after chronological caesurae, for few of the fellow artists, dealers, friends, and stray acquaintances Haring mentions are identified even with a surname. Haring's whirlwind activity is shadowed by deaths--Andy Warhol's inspires a splendid, moving discussion of Pop Art and Warhol's relationship with Haring as mentor, friend, and artistic compatriot. As Haring's own health began failing (he died of AIDS in 1990, at age 31), he took more delight in mundane details, poignantly writing in 1989, ``Every time I come to Europe I think I'm going to live forever.'' Fragmentary, not particularly enlightening, and lacking notes, these journals offer limited rewards even to the Haring aficionado. (illustrations, not seen) (Book-of-the-Month Club selection) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


About the Author

Keith Haring (1958-1990) came to New York City in 1978 to attend the School of Visual Arts. He developed in to an internationally famous artist whose works are respresented in museum collections around the world, and who, through the Keith Haring Foundation, has supported hundreds of children's and AIDS-related charities.


Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

april 29, 1977: Pittsburgh

This is a blue moment . . . it’s blue because I’m confused, again; orshould I say “still”? I don’t know what I want or how to get it. Iact like I know what I want, and I appear to be going after it—fast,but I don’t, when it comes down to it, even know. I guess it’s becauseI’m afraid. Afraid I’m wrong. And I guess I’m afraid I’mwrong, because I constantly relate myself to other people, otherexperiences, other ideas. I should be looking at both in perspective,not comparing. I relate my life to an idea or an example thatis some entirely different life. I should be relating it to my life onlyin the sense that each has good and bad facets. Each is separate.The only way the other attained enough merit, making it worthyof my admiration, or long to copy it is by taking chances, taking itin its own way. It has grown with different situations and has discovereddifferent heights of happiness and equal sorrows. If I always seek to pattern my life after another, mine is beingwasted re-doing things for my own empty acceptance. But, ifI live my life my way and only let the other [artists] influenceme as a reference, a starting point, I can build an even higherawareness instead of staying dormant. If I can take this andapply it, it will help, but again I am afraid. Afraid I’ll just ignorethis whole revelation and remain in the rut and rationalizeand call it human nature or some shit. But, I’ve beenliving like this for so long that it seems I’m doomed to continue.Although I realized it now, so that is encouraging. If Ican do this, then it should not be hard to answer my questionsand doubts about my forthcoming adventure. If I amall that is in question, then I should be able to answer all.Like past experience, there is always a certain magic thatsome call “Fate.” Lately it hasn’t been as evident, or perhapsI am just more ignorant of it, but I know that I’ll end upsomewhere for some reason or no reason, but with someanswers or at least be a little clearer on why I am and what Iam aiming to do or what I am gonna do or just “do.” If thisfate is negative, that isn’t negative because that is what happenedand that then was the fate. I only wish that I couldhave more confi dence and try to forget all my silly preconceptions,misconceptions, and just live. Just live. Just. Live.
Just live till I die.

Today we got to Interstate State Park and camped andmet people and sold T-shirts. Tripped. Met people going tosee the Grateful Dead in Minnesota. The Grateful Dead inMinnesota! We’re going to see the Grateful Dead!I found a tree in this park that I’m gonna come back to,someday. It stretches sideways out over the St. Croix riverand I can sit on it and balance lying on it perfectly.

tuesday, may 10, 1977

Today we awoke at sunrise, walked out of the park andhitchhiked to Minneapolis. We saw the school. It’s so big!Giant studios and facilities for silk-screen, etching, lithography,sculpture and giant sun roofs. They have a big librarywith “Pioneer” receivers, tape decks and a large selection ofmusic (even Frank Zappa). We saw the downtown area anda really modern mall that I can’t begin to describe. We got adorm apartment for two nights for $10 and bought GratefulDead tickets. (Only $5.50 apiece and it’s not sold outyet.) Also I met people that go to school here and askeda lot of questions and got a good idea of what this schoolis like.

The Dead were great. We saw the people we met at thecampsite, sold T-shirts, got high. The Dead even did an encorefrom American Beauty, “By the waterside I will lay myhead, listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.”friday, may 13, 1977After we left Minneapolis, we took a bus to I-94 and caughta few little rides and then a truck ride all the way to the borderof N. Dakota where we ate three cheeseburgers anddrank some beers. It was all farmers and when I went to thebathroom they all talked about my hair . . . Rednecks! Thenwe got a ride from a pilot who likes Bachman Turner Overdriveand then a truck ride into N. Dakota.

saturday, may 14, 1977

I am in Miles City, Montana, sitting in the sun. Thinkingabout the Grateful Dead, ’cause the last ride was 77 miles ofAM Radio. Suzy said my hair looks like there are dead animalsliving in it. At least they’re dead.

sunday, may 15, 1977

You have to stand before the ramp in Washington, so it wasreal hard to get rides. So we went down onto the Interstate,illegally, and finally got a ride, seconds before a sheriff camedown the ramp. This guy is going all the way to Sacramento.I’m in his car now. We drove till around 10:00 last night andthen stayed in a motel, watched Paper Moon on TV and tookshowers. Today he bought us breakfast in Medford, Oregon,and now we’re on our way to Sacramento in a ’62 Chryslerwith a dome dash and plastic slipcovers. It’s a really neat car.Also, he is blind in one eye and has a cataract in the otherand the radio doesn’t work right ’cause he spilled a glass ofCoke down the front of the dash a few years ago. But we’llget there . . .

wednesday, may 18, 1977

Yesterday we woke up, got out of the tent and there werecows standing 20 feet away just looking at us. They keptcoming closer and closer till they were right in front of thetent, and Suzy is saying, “Hurry up, they’re gonna chargeus,” so we hurried up and left and hitchhiked to I-80 and gota ride in a van and then a ride with a guy named Peter whotook us to Berkeley. The school is really amazing. Better thanMinneapolis, and not even comparable to Ivy. Then we wentby Rapid Transit (space transit) to San Francisco to a placeto eat and sleep for free advertised in an “alternative” YellowPages we found in Berkeley. The guy who ran it was gay, Ithink, and his friend took us to Polk Street, where we sawmore faggots than I saw in my entire life. It was weird, butwe got fed well and no hassles. Now we are at a laundromatand we’ll head for Santa Ana.

We went to Newport Beach today. It was nice. I wish Icould live here . . . It’s like N.J. shore. I got high and metsomeone from Boston and from Michigan.

I am sunburned. We saw the ocean today, one month afterseeing the Atlantic Ocean.

monday, may 23, 1977

Yesterday me and Suzy took a bus to Disneyland. What atrip! It was like another world. We did everything we couldpossibly do in nine hours. I expected it to be a letdown afterseeing it on TV and hearing about it, but it was better. Exceptthe castle is only about three stories high and it always looksgigantic in pictures. We went to the Haunted Mansion twotimes.

saturday, may 28, 1977

We are camped in a National Forest (for free) in the RockyMountains. We put our tent up last night and drank Coorsthis morning and we woke up and there was snow everywhere!I got up and walked farther down the creek, andfound a good place to make a shelter. It was snowing. This isthe nicest place we’ve been to yet. Last Saturday we were gettingsunburned at Newport Beach, and now we’re in snow! Ibuilt a shelter out of pine trees and we put the tent underit. Now I am sitting across the creek from our tent drinkinga beer and getting high on the scenes. Rocky MountainHigh!

memorial day 1977

We slept under a train bridge last night and woke at sunriseand signed the bridge along with the other people that hadslept there. We got a family ride that was very comical, andthen a ride to Des Moines, Iowa, with a really neat guy whohad tame raccoons.

Now I’m on the North Side, and Suzy is making Frenchtoast. This is the end of the fi rst part of my trip. Or should Isay the beginning of another “trip.” Through all the shit,shines the small ray of hope that lives in the common senseof the few. The music, dance, theatre, and the visual arts; theforms of expression, the arts of hope. This is where I think Ifi t in. If it’s alongside a creek in the Rocky Mountains or in askyscraper in Chicago or in a small town called Park City,Utah, it is always with me. Art will never leave me and nevershould. So as I go into the next part of the trip I hope it willbe more creative and more work involved and less talk andmore doing, seeing, learning, being, loving, feeling, maybeless feeling, and just work my ass off, ’cause that, my friend,is where it’s at!
It’s the Image I’m seeking, the Image I seewhen the man in the mirror is talking to Me.

—Graham Nash


By F. Gentile on September 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Keith Haring was someone I would have liked to have known. I recall seeing his paintings, which at the time were almost considered graffiti, around Manhattan in the early 1980's, and, being charmed by his trademark faceless little expressions of mass humanity. He became the artist most identifiable with the 1980's. But, he was much more than that. He was always very aware of his role as an artist, and, without any conceived pretension, what that role meant in society. 
Some artists are very insular, and develop their art in total privacy, for later viewing. Keith Haring was an artist who wanted people "involved" in the happening of his creativity. These journals, which he began sporadically from his teens, until his death from AIDS in 1990, show someone far more serious, with a sincere social conscience, than his often whimsical style suggests. He had a huge and unquestioning admiration for children, having a connection to them which could be described as what he called a mutual joy in the "gift of life", not yet jaded or corrupted. There are excerpts here which sometimes read like a tedious travelogue, of his shows worldwide. But, they are worthy reading overall because of his observations about people, politics, and the publics reaction to what he was trying to say through his art. He hated the "business" end of the art world, but acknowledged it as a necessity, if you wanted your art to be seen. He especially viewed businessmen and politicians as inheritantly evil and corrupt, making the astute observation in 1987 that white men in particular use "religion and business as a tool to fulfill his greed and power hungry aggression..."Expansion", "colonization", "dominitation", are all filled with the abuse of power and the misuse of people." (Some things never change...) His very sensitive side can be seen in his reaction to the death of dear friend and mentor Andy Warhol. It is very moving, and pays tribute and appreciation to one of his first supporters. He believed in the good of SOME people, in a corrupt world, and in the hope of change for the better in mankind. His art was a reaching out, which he prophetically foresaw as outlasting what he always felt would be a short life. These journals are the entertaining account of the life of a very talented, very intelligent, dear man, and I feel they'd be an interesting read even if their author were anonymous.There are lessons here, and not just for art students. As he intended, his art is what remains. It has a universal appeal, it "speaks" to people everywhere, about life, war, technology, sex, in a language everyone understands. As he observed regarding his need to keep creating, even in the face of impending death... "Work is all I have, and art is more important than life."

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