I ♥ John Giorno

Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno is a citywide exhibition presenting the work and life of poet, artist, and activist, John Giorno, which opened this week in venues across Manhattan.  Giorno, an iconic figure of New York’s downtown art scene, is perhaps most widely-known for his Dial-a-Poem phone line where anyone could call in and listen to poets, musicians, and activists performing their works.  The Dial-a-Poem line has been reprised for this exhibition and can be reached by calling (641) 793-8122.

While still a student, Keith Haring was heavily influenced by the work of John Giorno and other innovative poets and writers, like William Burroughs and Brion Gysin.  Keith wrote about this inspiration his journals, most notably in a piece he titled “A Chunk Called Poetry,” which can be read on our Tumblr on journal pages 62-67.  Later, Keith would collaborate with many of these artists.  Below is an album cover Keith created for a 1985 record compilation issued by Giorno Poetry Systems titled,  A Diamond Hidden in the Mouth of a Corpse, which included such artists as Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü, Diamanda Galás, and Coil.

Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno is open now and runs through August 6, 2017.  For more information and a list of participating venues visit http://www.ilovejohngiorno.nyc

 

A Diamond Hidden in the Mouth of a Corpse
A Diamond Hidden in the Mouth of a Corpse
Keith Haring, Willliam Burroughs, and John Giorno in Kansas, 1987
Keith Haring, Willliam Burroughs, and John Giorno in Kansas. Photo by Tseng Kwong Chi, 1987 © Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc., New York

February 16, 1990

Keith Haring was an activist as well as an artist, creating posters, murals, logos, pins, etc., for causes as wide-ranging as anti-littering and literacy outreach, to AIDS awareness and anti-Apartheid.

Buttons by Haring
A selection of social and political buttons by Keith Haring
AIDS mural Barcelona
AIDS Mural in Barcelona, 1989

His fine artwork also directly addressed social concerns; sometimes using humor, as in the collages he created from New York Post headlines that he Xeroxed and posted around the city; and sometimes illustrating the brutality of the system, such as in Michael Stewart – USA for Africa, a response to the killing of the young graffiti artist Michael Stewart.

Keith Haring NY Post Headlines collage
NY Post collage wheat-pasted onto a wall in New York, 1980
Michael Stewart - USA for Africa
Michael Stewart – USA for Africa, 1985

Keith occaisionally struggled with feelings of hopelessness in the face bigotry and corruption, but still he fought on however he was able.  Before his death on this date in 1990, he established the Keith Haring Foundation so that it could continue the work he began.

“We go forward, we have the means, but we’re still in the same situation.  And we still fightin’.

By any means necessary.

By any means necessary.

By any means necessary.”

-from Keith Haring’s  journals, July 1988

The Body Positive magazine cover
Cover of The Body Positive, photo by Kevin B. Smith

Refuse & Resist!

Resist in Concert!
Resist in Concert!

This poster from our archive is for a concert organized by Refuse & Resist! a human rights organization founded in 1987.  Keith Haring created the group’s logo seen on the poster.  Learn more about the history of Refuse & Resist! here.

NYC Pride!

NY Pride

Come celebrate pride this Sunday, June 26, with the biggest LGBT pride celebration in the world!  Everyone is invited to share in free and inclusive events that commemorate and celebrate diversity and equality.

The march begins at noon on Sunday at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue, and works its way downtown to Christopher and Greenwich Streets in the West Village.  Also on Sunday is PrideFest, Heritage of Pride’s annual LGBT street fair.

For complete information, parade route, and a full list of events visit NYC Pride.

Heritage of Pride logo

Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti named 2016 – 2017 Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at Bard College

Hilal and Petti
Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti

Photo: Carlo Favero

Congratulations to Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, recipients of the 2016 – 2017 Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism at Bard College.

Hilal and Petti, architects and critics based in Beit Sahour, Palestinian Territories, have been selected as the third winner of the Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism. Made possible through a five year-grant from the Keith Haring Foundation, the Haring Fellowship is an annual award for a scholar, activist, or artist to teach and conduct research at CCS Bard and the Human Rights Project. Their one-year appointment will begin in September 2016. Hilal and Petti succeed New Delhi–based artist and curator Shuddhabrata Sengupta who held the Fellowship during 2015-16.

For more information about  Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti, and the Center for Curatorial Studies and the Human Rights Project at Bard College, please see the full CCS Bard announcement here.

Happy Birthday Keith!

Party of Life
Photo by Tseng Kwong Chi, 1985 © Muna Tseng Dance Projects, Inc.

This photo shows party-goers at the second annual Party of Life, hosted by Keith Haring in May of 1985 at the newly re-opened Palladium nightclub on East 14th Street in New York City.   5,000 people were sent puzzles in a box as an invite to the party, the box also contained buttons that attendees had to wear in order to gain entrance.  Today, May 4th, would’ve been his 58th birthday.

Party of Life Invitation
Party of Life invitation