Keith Haring “Untitled” 1980. Cut-up New York Post headline, New York 1980.Inspired by William Burrough´s cut up technique Haring re-arranged headlines and this way created “new news”. Haring Xeroxed some...
“Untitled” 1980. Cut-up New York Post headline, New York 1980.Inspired by William Burrough´s cut up technique Haring re-arranged headlines and this way created “new news”. Haring Xeroxed some of these and pasted them around the city.
Similar work is shown on double spread in the huge Haring book issued by Rizzolo. Pages.54-55. Reagan was elected in 1980 and at that time he was by any not considered the President they wished for. So in a way Haring was a pioneer in doing fake news with atwist of humour.
Between 1980 and 1981, a lot of emerging artists knew the Zeitgeist was changing and were experimenting with new media hoping to catch whatever wave might come along. For a year or two, Xerox art became the rage for many. In fact, Jean Michel Basquiat was doing it before he started painting on canvas, and the form may have even helped him segue from writing cryptic poems in the street to inventing his own image vocabulary based on opening up his inner child. Tom Forcade, the founder of High Times, by the way, was an influence on Jean’s teen years because Forcade was the most legendary character living downtown in the 1970s. Jean dumped a box of shaving cream on his high school principal, something that might have been inspired by Tom throwing a pie inside Congress during an investigation on pornography a few years earlier. One of Jean’s biggest boosters at the time (Glenn O’Brien) was momentarily Editor of High Times, and wrote the first major article on the new writers like Jean and Fab Five, although no one thinks of Jean as a writer today as he quickly backed away from that scene.
Of all these Xerox artists, Keith Haring was one of the most political, using Burrough’s cut-up technique to rearrange headlines from the rabidly right-wing New York Post to convey shocking messages.Haring was also very prolific. Anytime he did something, Keith usually went all-in, and his short-lived Xerox phase was no exception. Kenny Scharf might have been living with Keith at the time, although maybe they were just in school together but he also joined in with his own Xerox art