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Is There Something Going On Between Jeffrey Deitch and Keith Haring?
Scallyvag Vagabond, New York on March 13, 2010

Keith Haring Graffiti

When Clayton Patterson’s article first fell on my lap I was intrigued, titillated, and also concerned. Concerned about the implications, the arguments, and the consequences of questioning widely accepted doctrines that the art world has taken for liturgy. On some level I was even wondering whether the art world would suddenly shun this particular author/editor. After all, it is a risky job being a journalist, an editor and we have to make choices as to what we write about. We can cover the color of Lindsay Lohan’s snot or we can ask deep questions about what really passes for culture, identity and history. It is after all one thing to tow the corporate or espoused cultural legacy and another thing to question it.

What follows is an articulation of the collision of two disparate worlds, one being the rough and tumble Lower East Side as it was in the 1980′s which gave rise to Keith Haring and that of the elite concentrated power dominion as represented by Mr Jeffrey Deitch. What is at stake is more than just ego and ethos, but rather the legacy and veracity of our collective journey. That said let the discussion begin.

For the latest on this disparaging story go here- Cursed artist LA 2 and Keith Haring collaborator just can’t catch a break…

‘Once the fabricated history has been invented and sold to the public- can the truth ever be known?’
—Clayton Patterson.

How did Jeffrey Deitch get the prestigious job as director of a major American Museum, LA’s MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) when he cannot even tell the difference between an art collaboration and work done by a single artist?  Deitch has known Keith Haring since 1980 as well as Keith’s only collaborating partner Angel Ortiz aka LA II.

The Deitch gallery has been the exclusive representative of the Keith Haring estate.  Jeffrey Deitch has been involved with the work of Keith Haring.

Keith Haring was a graphic artist until he partnered, right from the beginning, with LA II who was a young LES graffiti artist.  After Keith saw LAII’s work he sought him and asked him to collaborate with him.  Keith did his graphics and LA II did the filling flow between the graphics which was is his signature “LAII”.  They two working in tandem turned Keith’s work into fine art.

Keith Haring Graffiti

“Salon of Cultural Affairs”

If one were to reflect on the fluidity and apparition of culture one is obliged to comment on the fears and aspirations of a human collective.”

Scallywag and Vagabond is a forum for critical reviews, interviews, insights, interactive dialogue, continuously instigated and plundered forward with the joie de vivre once found in tea houses, sinful parlors and other magnanimous entities of boulevard yester years.

With attention and grace to charmed and perhaps outlandish individuals, institutions and icons, SCV sets forth to engender marvel, giddy delight and provocative repartee.

Aside from celebrity sightings and the occasional obscene gesture or faux pas the writer or the interviewee may provoke, the conduit of discussion may from time to time revolve around culinary delights, musical inclination, theatrical presentation, hotelier abomination, fashion fornication, painterly observation, ideological considerations, foreign accents and even social manners or rather the lack thereof.

Think of it as a ‘salon fete du jour’ where you, your host and fellow guests consort, collude and indulge each other, even kindly disagree over languorous crumpets, china tea and jasmine scents.

Consider this; asked once why the dadaist ‘Marcel Duchamp’ wore eye make up he candidly reflected “….one is obliged to either look like art or create art, in my case I prefer both.”

Indeed such proclivities.
Tea is now being served. Sip carefully.
Christopher Koulouris, Scallywag.