For the past several years we have been searching for footage of Keith Haring painting the mural at the Hillside Campus in 1989. Thank you to everyone who contacted us with their interest in the project and leads to the footage and photography.
In late 2014, we received a tip that 1991 Photography alumnus and former faculty member, Hadi Salehi may have captured footage of the mural’s creation. We contacted his studio and were excited to discover that Salehi shot Super8 footage of Haring as he painted that he recently digitized, along with a number of photographs of various phases of the process.
It was a real treat to discover that not only did footage exist, but that it was so well cared for and preserved. It was clear that Hadi Salehi recognized the importance of the mural and Keith Haring’s visit. The mural holds incredible significance as a memorial to artists who have died of AIDS, including Haring, who died in February 1990, just a few months after his visit.
It is an amazing piece of art and integral to Art Center’s daily life and history. To see the mural come to life in the footage is truly significant. Salehi’s black and white silent film provides a documentary feel, allowing the viewer to really focus on Haring while he worked on the mural.
The act of observing and capturing Haring’s creative process continues to resonate with Salehi: “It has been 25 years since I met Keith Haring, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I spent two days filming and taking photographs of him while he painted the mural. Watching him in the video, it appears as if he is not as sick as he was. He told me that he was in tremendous pain, and that the pain was unbearable at times. But when he worked he said it seemed like there was no pain. He said that the passion of creating was greater than the pain of his illness. For me, Keith is still alive because his works still feel fresh and creative. The impact of his works still grows —I want to see more like Keith.”
We are hoping this connection will help us locate additional footage of the event. Do you have stories, images, or video from Keith Haring’s visit? If so, please contact me, College Archivist Robert Dirig, at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 626.396.2208.