Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography

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9780135161135: Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography

The biography of painter, designer and AIDS victim Keith Haring.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A largely sympathetic portrait of the recently deceased young artist whose works moved from the subway platforms of N.Y.C. to the walls of galleries and museums throughout the world. Using the form of interviews with Haring himself as well as with the hustlers and hangers-on, the con men and collectors, the celebrities and sycophants who formed his world, Gruen (Eric Bruhn, 1979, etc.) paints a vivid picture of pop culture in the 1980's. Haring's recounting of his own adventures forms the backbone of the book. He is remarkably frank about his gay life (he died of AIDS at the age of 31), his impatience for fame, his dissatisfaction with the art establishment. Augmenting these revelations are reminiscences by such fellow artists as Kenny Scharf and Roy Lichtenstein, art dealers Leo Castelli and Tony Shafrazi, such cult figures as Madonna and Yoko Ono, as well as Timothy Leary and William Burroughs. Even Princess Caroline of Monaco has a bit to add. It's a glittering roster, and Gruen organizes their diverse points of view with clarity and care. Few dissenting voices are heard, however, and the tone becomes nearly hagiographic. Had Gruen approached some of Haring's detractors--and there are many--the portrait would have been fuller. An occasional note of self-serving creeps in as well, as when Timothy Leary states, ``Keith and I [have] been swept by the waves of the twentieth century into the twenty-first century.'' Still, Leary does have the grace to admit that Haring ``is not Mother Teresa.'' Some readers may also be puzzled by the seeming disparity between Haring's insistence that his work is ``for the people'' and his unremitting name-dropping of the glitterati. Limited, but nonetheless a valuable overview of an 80's phenomenon and his world. (Thirty-two b&w and 105 color photographs--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Gruen tells the fascinating story of Haring, from his phenomenal rise on the international art scene as graffiti artist extraordinaire, whose "radiant child" became a worldwide symbol of the Eighties pop culture, to his tragic death from AIDS at the age of 31. The book focuses on Haring's creative talent--including sculpture, painting, murals, and graphic art projects--and on his compulsive work habits, tracing his progress from concept to installation of one-man shows in Australia, Japan, France, and Monaco, among others. His life and work are seen through personal and candid interviews with the artist, members of his family, friends, and celebrities, including William Burroughs, Timothy Leary, Madonna, and Princess Caroline. This shocking, graphic, and entertaining biography, however, depicts life in the fast lane, New York style, with its all-too-familiar components of celebrity, drugs, and sex. Recommended.
- Stephen Allan Patrick, East Tennessee State Univ. Lib., Johnson City
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Gruen, John
Published by Macmillan General Reference (1991)
ISBN 10: 0135161134 ISBN 13: 9780135161135
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Gruen, John
Published by Macmillan General Reference
ISBN 10: 0135161134 ISBN 13: 9780135161135
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