Happy Birthday Keith Haring (59).

Just three days ago was the artist Keith Haring’s (59th) Birthday.
My blog post is to simply keep his memory fresh and alive! Many people have claimed to be influenced by him and many more have benefited from making such claims while they in broad daylight paint their version of ‘Street Art’ for the world to see.

That’s cool if you can get away with it and not get arrested.
Even Keith knew the job at hand was a risk so he made sure to have someone with him photographer Tseng Kwon Chi to document just about all of his activities and use the (one) arrest as a marketing tool to finally be Identified as the chalk using graffiti artist whose humanoid figures touched everyone who encountered them.

Keith Haring + KaM© customized Smurf character.

Gallery GO Round in the 1980’s.

artwork by Arman ‘Monochrome Accumulation No.1515’ ©1988-89

I was on the mailing list of some of the galleries that handled certain artist that I liked during the peak of the 80’s scene.One gallery in particular was Vrej Baghoomain Gallery located at 555 Broadway in Soho,New York. I know this name may make some people shudder because of the mysterious business practices of Mr. Baghoonian but, I know very little about the subject and I am not going to inform anyone who doesn’t already know the story.I just want to mention that this place was happening back in the day, and what I mean by happening is that I met the most influential artist of the twentieth century here and Arman was one of them.When you went to this gallery you brought your own drink along with you just in case you didn’t like the wine selection.The exhibitions were always interesting but, the croud could be even more interesting if your into that sort of thing. I wish I would have carried a camera with me back then because the people who came to Vrej’s gallery were the who’s who of the artworld that some art students today would have loved to be hanging out with.
I would like to think that, at least back then the competition was furious between artist thanks to Jean-Michel but,Everyboby came to eachothers openings to lend support or, to crack on the artist if his work was weak because of being rushed to make that money. I also liked the fact that the musicians of this time also thought that the galleries were the “In Hang” before going out to the clubs. At this very same gallery I met Yoko Ono and her son at one of the exhibitions featuring her work.I don’t know whats going now, I been off the scene since most of the galleries moved out of Soho and into the Chelsea area.I have been to a few shows but not like I use to do, it seems like the warehouse galleries are like going to a large storage facillity with nice walls.I guess I wouldn’t mind if it were my own work that I was looking at while I was there or, I wouldn’t mind seeing some old school Pop art anytime. RedSaid

Ghost in Modern Art/ My own time in space.

Artwork Jean-Michel Basquiat ‘Red Warrior’ ©1988 the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
I seledcted this invitation from the year 1989 to illustrate my own history and relavance to the ArtStars of the past decade to talk about today.It really is weird to have lived in the shadows of some of the most talked about artist of the twentieth century and still have my own work unrecognized by the art world at large. It’s partly because I’m so busy making art that I find myself happy with my own accomplishments within my own parameters of experimentation in the studio,always challenging the theories I develope from previous creations. I find that I don’t have time to promote the work for some reason or other and I’m glad that I at least belong to a gallery.This way I can exhibit some things from time to time to illustrate what I am currently working on, or,show some work that hasn’t seen the light of day since I created it.
This invitation is relavent in the sense that it is one of the last times that I encountered Keith Haring in public.We walked around the show together and viewed the art.I remember two destinct things about this day that I will never forget and one of them was that out of all the people that were there,who I had seen around before at Vrej’s gallery at an Basquiat exhibition or, at Tony’s gallary for a Haring show, only a few of them acknowledged Keith’s presence for fear of contracting AIDs,because it was real obvious at this point that he was suffering.I thought that was really sad because justa few years before that people were jocking him everywhere he went.
The second thing I remember is that while we walked around the gallery looking at the paintings Keith kept repeating how great he thought Jean-Michel’s work was and he was asking me if some of the paintings were prints or originals because he couldn’t see very well due to his illness.I just told him that I wasn’t sure because I felt very honored to be hanging with him and I didn’t want to make him feel worse than I had imagined if I had the same problem as he did at the moment.
Another thing that is interesting about this time is that, in my relationship to Basquiat I noticed some parallels that someone might find interesting.The first thing is that there is only a three year difference between our ages,both of us born in the early sixties, and, I also share a scar down the center of my belly due to a childhood accident.I also was interested in meeting Andy Warhol for some career advice but Jean beat me to it.I have since made up ground by staying alive and, I am now aquainted with the Warhola’s through my art historian friend Dr. Debra Miller and the most strangest things would happen to me in New York during the late eighties because I too had dreadlocks and some people did mistake me for Jean-Michel just before his death.
I do feel proud at least, that I have survived those crazy daze and that I have the honor and responceability to carry on a legacy that didn’t start with me, and it certainly won’t end with me but, I will do my best to push the boundries that the artist who came just a few years before me have done. Redsaid

Unity Party @ Palladium New York City 1988

This was the party of the year as far as I’m concerned just look at the entertainment listed on this invitation not to mention the hosts of the evening. The cause was one thing that had significant meaning at this time for you see multi-culturalisim was at its peak in the United States as a result of Nelson Mandella being freed and making a visit here to America. Also, in the same year there was an assasination attempt on Ronald Regan and HIV sindrome was introduced to the public as AIDS so this particular event was and did bring all the people together who were concerned and effected by the current state of the country.This night the Michael Todd room was filled with celebrities,the balcony had tons of people just chilling out in the seats doing their thing just watching the big jumbo trons with views of the dance floor and folks all hyped up on stage. One great memory I have of the evening is that I was dancing with my mentor Keith Haring at one point or,I really should say we just ended up dancing near each other while positioning ourselves for a better view of the stage.I remember he was wearing on of those hand painted (by him) leather cycle jackets that were the epidomy of eighties fashion back then.RedSaid