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Artist Keith Haring was inspired by the graffiti, pop art and underground club culture of New York. Haring was a great collaborator and worked with like-minded artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. All were interested in creating art for the many. Haring designed record covers for RUN DMC and David Bowie, directed a music video for Grace Jones and developed a fashion line with Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. In doing so, he introduced his art and ideas to as many people as possible. Compelled to speak for his generation, his art responds to urgent issues including political dictatorship, racism, homophobia, drug addiction, AIDS awareness, capitalism, and the environment. The quotes in this film come from Keith Haring’s original journals (which he kept between 1971 to 1989) and from ‘Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography’ by John Gruen, 1991.

source: Tate Museum

“Former teenage drug dealer White Boy Rick became one of the most famous informants in history when he began meeting in secret with Detroit police to sell info about other criminals when he was just 15. He would go on to become entrenched in corrupt politics. Here, Rick discusses his story, and how his relationship with the police ended when he was convicted of drug trafficking at age 17.”

Born in Brooklyn  Jean Michel Basquiat built a name for himself as a graffiti artist in the streets of New York. What began as graffiti under the tag name SAMO (short for same old shit), evolved into some of the greatest neo expressionist and contemporary art to date. Basquiat’s paintings were credited for capturing the African American experience, and portraying it at an elite level. His work was often inspired by heritage, equality, and the world that surrounded him.  Basquiat was known for painting in Armani suits, dating Madonna and producing Hip Hop tracks in the late 70s early 80s. He continues to inspire the art world, hip hop culture and #GWOP in 2013.  Basquiat died on August 12, 1988 of heroin overdose at age 27.  According to Christie’s ,Jean-Michel Basquiat left 917 drawings, 25 sketchbooks, 85 prints, and 171 paintings.

Checkout Basquiat’s first film Downtown 81

“The film is a day in the life of a young artist, Jean Michel Basquiat, who needs to raise money to reclaim the apartment from which he has been evicted. He wanders the downtown streets carrying a painting he hopes to sell, encountering friends, whose lives (and performances) we peek into. He finally manages to sell his painting to a wealthy female admirer, but he’s paid by check. Low on cash, he spends the evening wandering from club to club, looking for a beautiful girl he had met earlier, so he’ll have a place to spend the night.

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