28 May 2012

Recent Reading (Memorial/Memory Day)

Although Memorial Day is set aside to honor those in the Armed Forces, this excerpt from Keith Haring's fantastic Journals - which I have NOT been able to put down all weekend! --  that speaks to keeping alive the memory of our friends, mentors, and those who have inspired and helped show us the way in life (there are many ways to be 'of service to our nation' which is what Memorial/Decoration Day is supposed to commemorate)

I feel the way Haring does about SO MANY friends, family and fellow writers and artists, some of whom are still alive, and some who have passed on - or, better said, who have "dropped the body," for their spirit still survives and the memory of them and what they gave me and others survives to this day. I am eternally grateful to them, and thank them for welcoming me into 'the brotherhood.'

(And a special thank you to Keith and the Brooklyn Museum!)

Friday May 22, 1987

Quick meeting with a woman who called and wanted to talk about Brion Gysin and the problem of not letting him disappear.... Brion Gysin and William Burroughs have had an incredible influence on me and provided a lot of inspiration....It's important that his work be available for future generations of artists. Their work gave me a structure to understand what I had already done....

Also, it was my first real contact with "the brotherhood" of artists that has existed through the ages. They initiated me, in a way, into this "brotherhood" by sharing with me some of the secrets and intimacies of their lives as young, gay artists. There is a very real historical line that can be traced all the way back. Brion knew all about this. He spoke of it very eloquently and, although thoroughly more intelligent than me, never talked down to me, but talked to me as if I were also a part of this. Through his confidence in me and his assurance and analogies to my historical counterparts, I began to accept the fact that I am part of this, whether history will accept it or not. Many, like Brion, have been written out of history by the uninformed, barbarically (fake intellectual) conservative, homophobic public. It is up to the people who knew Brion and understood his importance to try to fight against his disappearance....

Self-Portrait with Glasses Painted by Kenny Scharf, circa 1980. Polaroid photograph. Collection Keith Haring Foundation. © Keith Haring Foundation

I strongly encourage you to visit Haring.com and the Haring Foundation Blog for more about Keith, and the work his art continues to do.

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