I SHOT THE MESSENGER
A Portrait of Keith Haring
by Richard Corman
In 1985, Richard Corman arrived at 676 Broadway on assignment for L’Uomo Vogue. He had come to photograph Keith Haring. However, he would not be descending to the underground subways or walking the streets of the Bowery, where Haring was known by the public for creating his distinct drawings and murals. On that day, Richard was to meet Keith in the privacy of his NYC studio, situated on the top floor of a five-floor walkup.
‘’To my surprise, when Keith answered the door, this unassuming building revealed to me a labyrinth of finished and unfinished artworks, bursting with color. I was familiar with Keith’s graffiti in the subway stations, his murals, and the unique language of his art, which raised awareness of AIDS and fought against the infiltration of illegal drugs. However, while positioning him around the space and working to capture something special during our time together, I realized this person was undeniably an original. His calm presence defied his free spirit, which revealed itself as he placed himself in front of my camera. These images offer up a glimpse at the confidence and pride that Keith had in his own unique language for communicating his message to the world.’’
After the success of Basquiat – A Portrait in 2021, Richard Corman accepted FREVO’s invitation to introduce New York to these rare portraits of Keith Haring taken in 1985 at 676 Broadway.
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