Apocalypse by Keith Haring

Artist and activist Keith Haring (1958–1990) first gained public attention during the early 1980s with anonymous graffiti drawings in the New York subway system. Always politically conscious, Haring used his popularity to bring awareness of AIDS and numerous other social and cultural issues.

When the renowned artist was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, he collaborated with author William S. Burroughs on this Apocalypse series, which offers an insight into Haring’s personal struggle with the disease.

The artist died two years later, at the age of 31.

The Apocalypse project began at a time here the AIDS epidemic was take over NYC. Haring wanted to provide a visual representation to a time the was drastically change the cultural and social landscape of the city. The portfolio consist of ten silkscreens, each which paired the image with Burrough’s stream-of-consciousness poetry.

Apocalypse 1 by Keith Haring


Page 1

Last act, the End, this is where we all came in. The final Apocalypse is when every man sees what he sees, feels what he feels, and hears what he hears. The creatures of all your dreams and nightmares are right here, right now, solid as they ever were or ever will be, electric vitality of careening subways faster faster faster stations flash by in a blur.

Pan God of Panic, whips screaming crowds, as millions of faces look up at the torn sky:

OFF THE TRACK! OFF THE TRACK!

Apocalypse 2 by Keith Haring

Page 2

The planet is pulling loose from its moorings, careening into space, spilling cities and mountains and seas into the Void, spinning faster and faster as days and nights flash by like subway stations. Iron penis chimneys ejaculate blue sparks in a reek of ozone, tunnels crunch down teeth of concrete and steel, flattening cars like beer cans. Graffiti eats through glass and steel like acid, races across the sky in tornados of flaming colors.

Apocalypse 3 by Keith Haring


Page 3

Cherry-pickers with satin brushes big as a door inch through Wall Street, leaving a vast souvenir postcard of the Grand Canyon. Water trucks slosh out paint, outlaw painters armed with paint pistols paint everything and everyone in reach. Survival Artists, paint cans strapped to their backs, grenades at their belts, paint anything and anybody within range. Skywriters dogfight, collide and explode in paint. Telephone poles dance electric jigs in swirling, crackling wires. Neon explosions and tornados flash through ruined cities, volcanoes spew molten colors as the earths crust buckles and splinters into jigsaw pieces.

Apocalypse 4 by Keith Haring


Page 4

The household appliances revolt: washing machines snatch clothes from the guests, bellowing Hoovers suck off makeup and wigs and false teeth, electric toothbrushes leap into screaming mouths, clothes dryers turn gardens into dust bowls, garden tools whiz through lawn parties, impaling the guests, who are hacked to fertilizer by industrious Japanese hatchets. Loathsome, misshapen, bulbous plants spring from their bones, covering golf courses, swimming pools, country clubs and tasteful dwellings.

Apocalypse 5 by Keith Haring


Page 5

Skyscrapers scrape rents of blue and white paint from the sky, shredding, peeling, nitrous ochres and red eat through bridges, which fall into the rivers splashing colors across – my back I always hear – piers, streets AMOK art – Hurry up please, its time – floods inorganic molds – Times winged chariot hurrying – stirring passion of – near. Closing time gentlemen – metal and glass steel – these our actors as I foretold you – girders writhe – actors frantically packing in theatrical – mineral lust – hotels… are all spirits.

Apocalypse 6 by Keith Haring


Page 6

Skyscrapers scrape rents of blue and white paint from the sky, shredding, peeling, nitrous ochres and red eat through bridges, which fall into the rivers splashing colors across – my back I always hear – piers, streets AMOK art – Hurry up please, its time – floods inorganic molds – Times winged chariot hurrying – stirring passion of – near. Closing time gentlemen – metal and glass steel – these our actors as I foretold you – girders writhe – actors frantically packing in theatrical – mineral lust – hotels… are all spirits.

Apocalypse 7 by Keith Haring


Page 7

At my back – faster and faster – I always hear hurry up – energy ground down into – please its time closing – sidewalks and street by billions of feet and tires erupt from manholes and tunnels break out with volcanic force let it come down careening subways faster and faster stations blur by, Pan whips screaming crowds with flaming pipes millions of faces look up at the torn sky OFF THE TRACK OFF THE TRACK the planet is pulling loose from its moorings, careening off into space spilling cities and mountains and seas into the Void faster and faster.

Apocalypse 8 by Keith Haring


Page 8

This is where we all came in blue and white paint from when Everyman sees color nightmares are right here warehouses and piers electric energy floods inorganic molds subways faster and faster, glass steel girder Pan God of Panic whips screaming concrete, faces look up at the torn sky and burn with madness. TRACK the planet is pulling bucking cars and trucks careening into space faster and faster into the Void spinning walks and streets flash by like subway stations in a reek of ozone.

Apocalypse 9 by Keith Haring


Page 9

Force let it come, skyscrapers scrape rents of the final Apocalypse in the sky, dream rivers splashing color across solid roads and buildings, AMOK art vitality stirring passions of metal blur by writhing in mineral lusts. Walls of glass melt OFF THE TRACK OFF a billion crazed eyes, the sidewalks run feet and tires, chimneys ejaculate blue tunnels break out graffiti village pulled across the sky in flaming colors.

Apocalypse 10 by Keith Haring


Page 10

Skyscrapers scrape rents of blue and white paint from the sky, the rivers swirl with color, nitrous ochres and reds eat through the bridges, falling into the rivers, splashing colors across warehouses and piers and roads and buildings, AMOK art floods inorganic molds, stirring passion of metal and glass, steel girders writhing in mineral lusts burst from their concrete covers, walls of glass melt and burn with madness in a billion crazed eyes, bridges buck cars and trucks into the rivers, the sidewalks run ahead faster and faster, energy ground down into sidewalks and streets by billions of feet and tires erupts from manholes and tunnels, breaks out with volcanic force: LET IT COME DOWN

Caught in New York beneath the animals of the village, the Piper pulled down the sky.

New Signature 2017