Keith Haring Journals
(Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
A stunning Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition of the activist artist's extraordinary 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.
1977 april 29, 1977: Pittsburgh
This is a blue moment . . . it’s blue because I’m confused, again; or should I say “still”? I don’t know what I want or how to get it. I act 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 because I’m afraid. Afraid I’m wrong. And I guess I’m afraid I’m wrong, because I constantly relate myself to other people, other experiences, other ideas. I should be looking at both in perspective, not comparing. I relate my life to an idea or an example that is some entirely different life. I should be relating it to my life only in the sense that each has good and bad facets. Each is separate. The only way the other attained enough merit, making it worthy of my admiration, or long to copy it is by taking chances, taking it in its own way. It has grown with different situations and has discovered different heights of happiness and equal sorrows. If I always seek to pattern my life after another, mine is being wasted re-doing things for my own empty acceptance. But, if I live my life my way and only let the other [artists] influence me as a reference, a starting point, I can build an even higher awareness instead of staying dormant. If I can take this and apply it, it will help, but again I am afraid. Afraid I’ll just ignore this whole revelation and remain in the rut and rationalize and call it human nature or some shit. But, I’ve been living like this for so long that it seems I’m doomed to continue. Although I realized it now, so that is encouraging. If I can do this, then it should not be hard to answer my questions and doubts about my forthcoming adventure. If I am all that is in question, then I should be able to answer all. Like past experience, there is always a certain magic that some call “Fate.” Lately it hasn’t been as evident, or perhaps I am just more ignorant of it, but I know that I’ll end up somewhere for some reason or no reason, but with some answers or at least be a little clearer on why I am and what I am aiming to do or what I am gonna do or just “do.” If this fate is negative, that isn’t negative because that is what happened and that then was the fate. I only wish that I could have 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 and met people and sold T-shirts. Tripped. Met people going to see the Grateful Dead in Minnesota. The Grateful Dead in Minnesota! 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 river and 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 and hitchhiked 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 library with “Pioneer” receivers, tape decks and a large selection of music (even Frank Zappa). We saw the downtown area and a really modern mall that I can’t begin to describe. We got a dorm apartment for two nights for $10 and bought Grateful Dead tickets. (Only $5.50 apiece and it’s not sold out yet.) Also I met people that go to school here and asked a lot of questions and got a good idea of what this school is like.
The Dead were great. We saw the people we met at the campsite, sold T-shirts, got high. The Dead even did an encore from American Beauty, “By the waterside I will lay my head, listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.” friday, may 13, 1977 After we left Minneapolis, we took a bus to I-94 and caught a few little rides and then a truck ride all the way to the border of N. Dakota where we ate three cheeseburgers and drank some beers. It was all farmers and when I went to the bathroom they all talked about my hair . . . Rednecks! Then we got a ride from a pilot who likes Bachman Turner Overdrive and then a truck ride into N. Dakota.
saturday, may 14, 1977
I am in Miles City, Montana, sitting in the sun. Thinking about the Grateful Dead, ’cause the last ride was 77 miles of AM Radio. Suzy said my hair looks like there are dead animals living in it. At least they’re dead.
sunday, may 15, 1977
You have to stand before the ramp in Washington, so it was real hard to get rides. So we went down onto the Interstate, illegally, and finally got a ride, seconds before a sheriff came down 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 and then stayed in a motel, watched Paper Moon on TV and took showers. Today he bought us breakfast in Medford, Oregon, and now we’re on our way to Sacramento in a ’62 Chrysler with 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 other and the radio doesn’t work right ’cause he spilled a glass of Coke down the front of the dash a few years ago. But we’ll get there . . .
wednesday, may 18, 1977
Yesterday we woke up, got out of the tent and there were cows standing 20 feet away just looking at us. They kept coming closer and closer till they were right in front of the tent, and Suzy is saying, “Hurry up, they’re gonna charge us,” so we hurried up and left and hitchhiked to I-80 and got a ride in a van and then a ride with a guy named Peter who took us to Berkeley. The school is really amazing. Better than Minneapolis, and not even comparable to Ivy. Then we went by Rapid Transit (space transit) to San Francisco to a place to eat and sleep for free advertised in an “alternative” Yellow Pages we found in Berkeley. The guy who ran it was gay, I think, and his friend took us to Polk Street, where we saw more faggots than I saw in my entire life. It was weird, but we got fed well and no hassles. Now we are at a laundromat and we’ll head for Santa Ana.
We went to Newport Beach today. It was nice. I wish I could live here . . . It’s like N.J. shore. I got high and met someone from Boston and from Michigan.
I am sunburned. We saw the ocean today, one month after seeing the Atlantic Ocean.
monday, may 23, 1977
Yesterday me and Suzy took a bus to Disneyland. What a trip! It was like another world. We did everything we could possibly do in nine hours. I expected it to be a letdown after seeing it on TV and hearing about it, but it was better. Except the castle is only about three stories high and it always looks gigantic in pictures. We went to the Haunted Mansion two times.
saturday, may 28, 1977
We are camped in a National Forest (for free) in the Rocky Mountains. We put our tent up last night and drank Coors this morning and we woke up and there was snow everywhere! I got up and walked farther down the creek, and found a good place to make a shelter. It was snowing. This is the nicest place we’ve been to yet. Last Saturday we were getting sunburned at Newport Beach, and now we’re in snow! I built a shelter out of pine trees and we put the tent under it. Now I am sitting across the creek from our tent drinking a beer and getting high on the scenes. Rocky Mountain High!
memorial day 1977
We slept under a train bridge last night and woke at sunrise and signed the bridge along with the other people that had slept there. We got a family ride that was very comical, and then a ride to Des Moines, Iowa, with a really neat guy who had tame raccoons.
Now I’m on the North Side, and Suzy is making French toast. This is the end of the fi rst part of my trip. Or should I say the beginning of another “trip.” Through all the shit, shines the small ray of hope that lives in the common sense of the few. The music, dance, theatre, and the visual arts; the forms of expression, the arts of hope. This is where I think I fi t in. If it’s alongside a creek in the Rocky Mountains or in a skyscraper in Chicago or in a small town called Park City, Utah, it is always with me. Art will never leave me and never should. So as I go into the next part of the trip I hope it will be more creative and more work involved and less talk and more doing, seeing, learning, being, loving, feeling, maybe less 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 see
when the man in the mirror is talking to Me.
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