- 6:55 pm - Mon, Jan 23, 2012
- 8 notes
Always been a Keith Haring fan. This “CRACK DOWN” image was one of my favorite designs of his, and you can see me wearing a t-shirt in the late 80’s, with that image screened on, in the 2nd photo.
One day, Keith Haring visited my high school (Fiorello H. LaGuardia H.S. of the Arts, NYC) and I had a chance to ask him for an autograph. He drew a quick marker sketch of his “radiant baby,” and asked me for my name. We have the same first name, so he signed it, “For Keith, From Keith.” I was so psyched. I regret that I cannot find that sketch and signature; over the years, it seems to have vanished.
What I do still have, is the hat which you see in the third photo. Great story, how I got that, as well. Had to be about a year or so after the school visit, and I was in SoHo with my boys, Al and Jay. We were just hanging out, window-shopping, and we spotted Keith as he walked past us, on Broadway. We figured that he might be headed to his store, the Pop Shop, so we decided to trail him (keeping a distance, not wanting to spook him or seem weird, in any way). As far as we knew, he didn’t see us following behind him.
Sure enough, we ended up at the Shop, but we somehow lost sight of him along the way. Since we were there, we just decided to browse the store for a minute. Al, Jay, and I are all artists, and we definitely appreciated the visual esthetic of the store, plus we were all fans of Haring’s work.
As I’m off by myself, looking at a particular item on display, I hear a voice behind me say, quietly, “Hey.” I turn around, and it’s Keith Haring, himself. In his hand, he’s got three caps, and he asks me, “Where’d your friends go?” I got their attention, waved them over, and he handed each one of us this cool cap. We thanked him, he smiled and thanked us for visiting the store, and disappeared into the wall. No, really… there was a door which, in the midst of the elaborately painted floor-to-ceiling design, was hard to see at a glance, and he walked across the room, opened and closed it behind himself, seemingly vanishing within the wall.
I always guessed that Keith gave us those caps because he saw us following him, and wanted to do something nice to reward our fandom. I was too much in shock to ask him, in that moment, and I never had another opportunity to do so. Still, that was one of the coolest moments, with one of the coolest people, ever, and I’ve never forgotten it.