Keith Haring photographed by Richard Corman, 1984.
Jean-Michel Basquiat and Madonna while they were dating, circa 1983.
Photo by Maripol
On this day in music history: August 11, 1973 – Eighteen year old Jamaican born DJ Kool Herc (aka Clive Campbell) throws a block party in the first floor rec room of his apartment building at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx in New York City. Advertised as a “Back To School Jam”, flyers handwritten on 3×5 index cards are distributed widely throughout the neighborhood. The event is filled to capacity, attracting 300 people. Herc sets up his powerful sound system in the room, spinning a mixture of R&B, Funk, Latin and Rock records. Using duplicate copies of the same record on two turntables, Herc isolates and extends the breakdown of these songs to the delight of the crowd. The event is a huge success and leads to the DJ spinning at even larger events on the streets and in clubs in and around the Bronx. However, the first party is regarded as a watershed event in history as the birth of the Hip Hop Movement. The strip of Sedgwick Avenue where the apartment complex resides, is re-dubbed “Hip Hop Blvd.” by the city of New York in 2016, by mayor Bill de Blasio. The current owners of the building have applied for it to be added to the registry of historic sites in New York City in 2007, but to date has not been finalized. Happy 45th Birthday, Hip Hop!!!
Keith Haring painting a mural on FDR Drive (91st) in New York City, 1984.
Jean-Michel Basquiat and Rammellzee
on Santa Monica Blvd after exiting Maxfields in Los Angeles, 1982.
Photos by Stephen Torton
Keith Haring painting a mural on Houston Street and Bowery in New York City, 1982.
(Photos by Martha Cooper)
Happy Birthday Keith Haring!
(May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990)
“The public needs art — and it is the responsibility of a ‘self-proclaimed artist’ to realize that the public needs art, and not to make bourgeois art for a few and ignore the masses.”
– Keith Haring
Keith Haring painting a mural on the Berlin Wall nearby Checkpoint Charlie on October 23, 1986.
On August 31, 1961 construction started on the Berlin Wall, tearing apart the German capital. Until its demolition in 1989, the Wall was a symbol of Soviet oppression and a literal representation of the ‘Iron Curtain’ between East and West. During the rise of the graffiti art movement in the 1980s, the West Berlin side of the Wall became a Mecca for street artists. Keith Haring, the New York artist credited with bridging the gap between the street and the gallery, was invited by the Director of the Checkpoint Charlie Museum to paint on the Wall. Haring created a 350-foot mural, intended to symbolism the solidarity of the divided peoples of Berlin.
In Haring’s words: “I decided on a subject, which is a continuous interlocking chain of human figures, who are connected at their hands and their feet – the chain obviously representing the unity of people as against the idea of the wall. I paint this in the colors of the German flag – black, red and yellow.”