In 1982 artists Keith Haring and Bill T. Jones crossed paths and created an unique work that defied neat categorization.
Both iconoclasts, Haring and Jones were each reflexively drawn to making work that ignored the art and performance compartments of genre.
A rising art star, Haring’s mischievous tendency to tag subways and buildings while showing almost the same work on the cool white walls of galleries had already made him a beloved puzzle of art denizens.
Similarly, Bill T. Jones was making expressively visual work in the world of dance that wasn’t easy for lovers of the art.
Both raised serious issues and asked hard questions about race, gender, sexuality and social concerns in their own ways.
Upon meeting they became friends, collaborators and co-conspirators. They shared an intimacy and playfulness immediately that led to these works.
Preparing for a show at London’s Robert Fraser Gallery, Haring asked Jones if he would work with him to create this work. Together with artist/photographer Kwong Chi who captured the piece and the process, they created this legacy to the two artists and their friendship.
Sadly, Keith Haring is no longer with us having been lost to the savagery that was the early AIDS epidemic. Of course, Bill T. Jones continues the legacy begun here as he continues to make important work asking the same questions in new ways that he and Haring explored together and individually.
This makes the work here all the more poignant.
Bill T. Jones has said:
Living and dying is not the big issue. The big issue is what you’re going to do with your time while you are here.