In the past to years, a
parallel set of images has also been appearing in art galleries and museums. Fed
by the same genius for the apt image and its inspired communication, Keith Haring's
painting in black and white and, occasionally in Day-Glo green, oranges, and purples,
have had immediate and international success when exhibited as fine art. It is
this parallel career as a professional artist that has allowed Haring to continue
his work in the streets and subways. Haring forces the fine art collectors of
his work to subsidize the more public and unremunerated aspect of his activity.
While this doesn't cause Haring the slightest confusion (he is perfectly able
to harbor more than one idea at a time), the oversimplifiers wonder aloud: Does
Keith Haring work for all New Yorkers or has he been coopted by the System, by
exhibiting in commercial galleries and museums? The truth here, as so often, is
not either/or; it is both and at once.
-- from the Intoduction
to Art in Transit
by Henry Geldzahler
| Complete essay.