Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.

Now screening :
1. From the Archives: Keith Haring
2. Friday Night, August 14th – From Funkadelic
3. One Thousand Stories / The Making of a Mural / A Project by JR

BSA Special Feature: From the Archives: Keith Haring

Why are we thinking about street artist Keith Haring so often right now?
Possibly because we are remembering how he used his art practice to talk about crisis on his doorstep, and took risks to get his work out, and we are seeing more artists stepping up to that challenge on the street today.

When we think about this pandemic and the ways in which the artistic community has swiftly and forcefully responded to illustrate with their art the general mood, the ethos, the official response from our political leaders, the health providers unequivocal rush to action to save lives, the scientific community pushing to guide us during this still ongoing crisis, the dissemination of information and misinformation on social media, and the decisive actions from the mainstream media to educate the public on the pandemic one New York City artist comes to mind.

Keith Haring. He used his art to talk about Apartheid in South Africa, the crack epidemic, and the scourge of AIDS, a disease that took his life in 1990. We wonder what he will be doing on the streets if he were still alive. He’d be 62 now, still an age where he’d have the creative energy imbued with wisdom and experience. Below we share with you a vintage reel of him getting up on the NYC Subway.

As you watch this video for a mass TV audience under the guise of kooky kuriosity, it also crosses your mind that the police handle him with kid gloves – they don’t tackle him and slam him on the ground. Would his fate have been the same if he were black? And the reporter follows him around like a curious puppy, in awe of his escapades, intoning that vandalism is cute when its done by white guys from Pennsylvania who sell canvasses in Soho. There is so much we can learn from archived footage like this.

So you know what tonight is, right?

One Thousand Stories / The Making of a Mural / A Project by JR