Archives, The Artist Birthday Series

Keith Haring

A memorial service was held on May 4 of that year, what would have been his 32nd birthday, at the Cathedral of St. John the Devine in New York City. Over a thousand people attended, including New York Mayor David N. Dinkins, actor Dennis Hopper, his younger sister Kay Haring, Yoko Ono (who claimed that Haring’s spirit had told her to steal his ashes and take them to Paris…for some reason…), performance artist Ann Magnuson, and his friend and fellow artist Tony Shafrazi. Amidst the somber memorial however, Magnuson and Shafrazi invoked the playfulness of their friend, improvising a mock award ceremony, nominating Haring for such things as “best poet,” “best video artist,” and “best go-go dancer.” They concluded by saying, “And the winner is….everyone who knew Keith Haring.”

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