Keith Haring - Painting as Performance
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Keith Haring, Painting Myself into a Corner, 1979, Video, black and white with sound; digital transfer, Music by Devo, Shot at the School of Visual Arts, New York, Collection of the Keith Haring Archive, Courtesy of the Keith Haring Foundation
After the completion of my first video piece – me painting myself into a corner – I am becoming much more aware of movement. The importance of movement is intensified when a painting becomes a performance. The performance (the act of painting) becomes as important as the resulting painting.
Movement as painting. Painting as movement.
Moving toward a work of art that encompasses music, performance, movement, concept, craft and a reality record of the event in the form of a painting.
Almost a kind of diagram of the previous experience (i.e. blueprint, choreography).
Painting as performance.
Keith Haring, Environments, 1978, Video, black and white with sound; digital transfer, Shot at School of Visual Arts, New York, Filmed by Drew Straub, Collection of the Keith Haring Archives, Courtesy of the Keith Haring Foundation
What I am proposing, or what I am practicing for myself, is a body of work that is in constant motion. I acknowledge the fact that my work builds upon itself, that it evolves and changes. I am eager to re-use a past work, re-interpret, develop further, build upon, change at my own free will.
Keith Haring, Two Handed White to Black, 1978, Video, black and white with sound; digital transfer, Shot at School of Visual Arts, New York, Collection of the Keith Haring Archives, Courtesy of the Keith Haring Foundation
These environments were created to induce some reaction from the viewer. They evoke feelings, ideas, impressions. I want to let people experience art without having to feel inhibited....Its purpose, its meaning, is to communicate some feeling, any feeling. What that feeling is or how it is experienced depends on the viewer. The viewer should be able to look at art and respond to it without wondering whether he "understands" it. It does not aim to be understood! Who "understands" any art? If art that is easily labeled, then it is only existing for those who "understand" it and all the others are ignorant of it.
Keith Haring, Poster for Painted Enviroment, Collection of the Keith Haring Archives, Courtesy of the Keith Haring Foundation
All quotes: Keith Haring, Keith Haring Journals
Keith Haring artwork and writing © Keith Haring Foundation