8 Keith Haring Documentaries to Watch on YouTube

Playlist: Keith Haring Documentaries

Modern art rabbit holes are the best kind to fall down.

Sure, there’s a lot of pretentiousness in the field and dominated by white men both at the canvas and observing it for the media. But there’s a unique artist for everyone. Someone that catches you off guard with their interpretation of the world, telling a story that means something to you.

And for me, Keith Haring is one of those artists. Born on 4th May 1958, Haring’s work became synonymous with New York City and its bustling subways, depicting striking images of human figures, dogs, and all kinds of manifested emotions.

As his popularity grew, so did the themes behind them. He created large scale murals as forms of activism for AIDS awareness and sexuality. His work never demeaned or alienated those who observed. They were fun and full of energy and, most of all, memorable. You know when seen a Keith Haring piece.

So with that, I’ve made a YouTube playlist of 8 Keith Haring documentaries to watch at your leisure. Enjoy!

Update: 3 of the videos were made private so only 5 are available to view.

1. Drawing the line: a portrait of Keith Haring

This documentary was produced by Elisabeth Aubert in conjunction with Biografilm.

Keith Haring’s artistry moved went from New York subway graffiti to the art galleries and walls of the rich and famous. He was often likened to Andy Warhol (much like his best friend Jean-Michel Basquiat) but I feel that diminished his individuality and personal merit.

He broke boundaries with his work as a form of activism during the AIDS epidemic, which he sadly died from in 1990.

2. The Universe of Keith Haring

The strapline for this documentary is simply “a portrait of New York artist Keith Haring” but this picture paints a lot more than 1,000 words.

Christina Clausen directed the film and gave glimpses into his life, from his humble beginnings in Pennsylvania to pop culture icon. The film also stars Yoko Ono, Fab 5 Freddy, and David LaChapelle.

3. Keith Haring – The Message

French fashion designer Maripol presented his documentary (English dub and French subs). Split into episodes, The Message looked at the different ways Haring’s work immersed itself into pop culture during the 80s.

4. Discover the King of Street Art: Keith Haring

Discover the King of Street Art will appeal to fans of mini-documentaries. This one is a 4-minute journey through his life and features some of his most famous pieces, from subway walls to the Berlin Wall (and Grace Jones).

5. Keith Haring Uncovered

The other documentaries in the list gave overviews of Haring’s life but Keith Haring Uncovered looks at his visit to Australia in 1984 when he created a mural in Collingwood, Melbourne. What makes this mural special is its rarity – there are only 31 known Haring murals “in the wild” so to speak.

6. From the archives: Keith Haring was here

This is an archived news story rather than a doc but it’s still pretty cool. Charles Osgood investigated on Haring’s chalk drawings in New York subways that often got him in trouble with the law. Spoilsports.

7. Mr. Guera Reads …Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing

If the children are our future, they ought to know about Haring too. And this video does exactly that. Mr Guera is an illustrator who makes educational trading cards called Buzu Trading Cards® and in this, he did a reading of Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing by Kay A Haring, Keith’s younger sister.

8. Intro to Keith Haring

The final video splices together footage from other documentaries as an educational aid, including the semiotic nature of his work. Perfect for students of any age.

Haring related: Keith Haring’s personal art collection to be auctioned

The Boston cooler: a quick history of a tasty Detroit beverage

I love ginger ale. I especially love the American variants (as they weren’t hit by the sugar tax like the UK). So when I found out about the Boston cooler, I had to investigate.

The first thing that surprised me was the fact it’s not from Boston at all. The soda shake comes from Detroit, Michigan and its history is quite complex. But one thing is clear – an authentic Boston cooler is made with vanilla ice cream and Vernors ginger ale. And it has to be Vernors.

The soda drink started in 1866 but different forms of ginger ale until they copyrighted the term for their own ice-cream bar in 1967. Until then, different people had their own types of Boston cooler and some still swear by different brands of ginger ale.

Essentially, the Boston cooler is a type of ice cream float (or a coke float or spider to some) and if a jerk made you one, that would be a good thing.

Why is it called a “Boston” cooler?

The name is based on a street rather than the city. The drink’s inventor is said to be a man called Fred Sanders who named the beverage after a street in a neighbourhood known as Boston Edison.

How a UK version would taste

Import costs are high for US products, especially food and drink. But we have plenty of ginger ale brands to make our own variant here in the UK.

Schweppes Canada Dry

For me, this is the easiest choice and common in the UK and US. Canada Dry is the brand of ginger ale I always buy from the supermarket and I think it’d work well for a quick and easy Boston cooler.

Fentimans

This is slightly more upmarket but still affordable.

Britvic

I know Britvic for its orange juice but they also do ginger ale.

Belvoir

Pronounced “beever” to own the French, Belvoir makes a style of ginger ale, blending a “fresh ginger root infusion with botanical extracts” and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Fever-Tree

Ginger ale from the sponsors of Queen’s Club Championships would add a touch of class to a jug of Boston cooler. A true transatlantic union.

London Essence Co.

Marketed as a “delicate ginger ale”, the company use sugar from the stevia plant as a healthier sweet option. There’s even some “liquorice notes coupled with distilled aniseed and fennel essences”.

Peter Spanton

This brand has an array of unusual soda drinks, including Salted Paloma, Cadamom, and even Chocolate. But it’s ginger ale is a dry variant which would work well with a soft and creamy vanilla ice cream.

Franklin & Sons

Started 20 years after Vernors, Franklin & Sons Ltd offer some great soft drink flavours and award-winning ginger ale uses British spring water and natural British sugar. Hurrah!

Any supermarket brand

If all else fails, go for a bottle from Asda or Tesco. Waitrose has one too if you fancy pushing the boat out.

What about the vanilla ice cream?

Much like your choice of ginger ale, the vanilla ice cream you choose for your Boston cooler is important. But there isn’t a specific brand you need, which is good if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant, for example.

Dairy

  • Sainsbury’s Madagascan Vanilla
  • Tillamook’s Old-Fashioned
  • Jeni’s Honey Vanilla Bean
  • Edy’s
  • Häagen-Dazs
  • Breyer’s
  • Waitrose 1 Madagascan
  • Green & Black’s Organic (with Real Bourbon Vanilla)
  • Or you could make your own.

And if you have the cash and the means to do so, you could probably make some vanilla ice cream using donkey milk or moose milk. But that’s your call and your money.

Non-dairy (V = Vegan, VG = Vegetarian)

  • Swedish Glace (V)
  • Alpro Vanilla (V)
  • Northern Bloc (V/VG)
  • Booja Booja (V)
  • Yorica (V)
  • Jude’s (V)
  • Morrisons V Taste Free From Soya (V)
  • Or you could make your own. (V)

Feeling delightful devilish? Use ginger beer

This is totally off-script but hear me out. Ginger beer packs a punch and would be the perfect complement to something soothing like vanilla ice cream. What better way to represent Detroit than a fiery Boston cooler variant of its famous drink?

I recommend Crabbies or Old Jamaica, with a splash of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey (if you’re old enough to drink in your country and you drink aware).

How would you make your Boston cooler? Let me know in the comments.

And the award for Cutest Duck TikTok Goes To...

I’m not on TikTok and have no interest in joining. I prefer to catch the funniest TikToks on Twitter and save myself from the boring ones. That strategy has worked well and I hit the jackpot yesterday when I found this:

Dancing with my Duck! | HartYT_ TikTok Compilation 1#

Let me address each incredible part of this TikTok one-by-one.

1. It features a dancing duck

I love ducks. They’re in my top ten animals list and in terms of cuteness, they’re second only to hippos for me. This duck appears to be a Pekin duck (I’ll wait to be corrected) and Joey and Chandler owned one in Friends.

2. Hart was getting into it

Hart is an animator and memer (seriously, go check out his YouTube) who was ready to bust moves with his duck. And he did not disappoint.

3. That song is awesome

Part of the appeal of this TikTok, besides the dancing and the duck, is the song. Twitter provided as it always does and gave the title: Vibe by Cookiee Kawaii.

By now, I’ve watched this feather-shaking duck about 10 times and I’m ready to watch it some more before the day’s up. Happy Black History Month!

TikTok related: Gav – the huge TikTok baby and Scott Seiss’s retail TikToks

Rashayla Marie Brown's scathing review of Virgil Abloh’s "Figures of Speech"

I’ve always been sceptical of Virgil Abloh. I “get” his work but it’s not for me and it’s not a coincidence that his artistic ascension coincided with Kanye’s, arguably his biggest collaborator.

So when I read Rashayla Marie Brown’s review of Abloh’s “Figures of Speech” exhibition, I felt vindicated. And Brown was more eloquent than I would have been.

She started by questioning the lack of critiques of his work to begin with (I’m aware this is a critique of a critique that questions the lack of critiques but stay with me down this rabbit hole).

Besides the press in the New York Times about Abloh’s meteoric fashion career and a cursory review of the exhibit in Architect’s Newspaper, we have not had any meaningful criticism that contextualizes Abloh’s contributions, how exactly his collaborations developed, and what the actual impact of his design is on issues of racial representation in the art and design fields.

The rest of the review analyses the exhibition and how the forms of black art are nothing more than tropes.

Where Instagram celebrity status has produced a new cultural producer hell-bent on monetizing time and false relationships, Abloh’s in-person engagements are more important than the artwork itself, a conundrum touched upon by the numerous events and sites that occasion the show.

While looking through the photos taken of the exhibit, I felt the same sentiment as Jay Post, a member of Young Chicago Authors when he said: “man, he claimed to be representing us, but instead he just gave us a big ass billboard.” The work fell flat in regard to black presentation. It’s just another ironic work of Abloh art. I’m surprised he didn’t reduce the exhibition to a banner with “BLACK” written on it in Helvetica.

But the final paragraph really cuts deep, like a hot knife through butter.

Abloh’s work complains about White supremacy in fashion and then sell products designed to uphold the financial and material oppression of one group over another through collaborating with companies such as Nike and Louis Vuitton. This is the fashion equivalent of saying you don’t eat Harold’s, while we can see the grease dripping down your chin.

(Photo credit: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.)

The fitting room scene from Jackie Brown synced up

Jackie Brown Money Exchange Sequence Synchronized

I love Jackie Brown but I kinda wish Quentin Tarantino hadn’t directed it. Not because of the quality or style but… it’s a homage to blaxploitation films made by a white man who uses his films as a way to freely use the N-word. But let me jump off that soapbox.

The fitting room scene where Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) makes a money exchange in a department store was shot as a series of three separate scenes. The first one features Jackie, the second features Louis Gara and Melanie Ralston (Robert De Niro and Bridget Fonda), and the final scene shows Max Cherry (Robert Forster).

But thanks to YouTuber James Neumann, the non-linear becomes linear, and it doesn’t dilute the quality at all. In fact, having two scenes next to each other adds to the 60s/70s style of intensity and tension. That and I love outlines and grids in film and design.

I Love All The Pins From Super Team Deluxe

Have you ever looked at an online store and wanted everything on the site?

That was how I felt when I first saw Super Team Deluxe. As a geek, seeing all those pop culture references in pin and sticker form excited me. But how did STD come about? And how awkward is that abbreviation?

A super team indeed

The team behind Super Team Deluxe like to call themselves “a collaborative funhouse” and it certainly seems that way. The products they create are unique, quirky, and geeky as hell.

The company is the brainchild of designers Rogie King and Justin Mezzell. The “official” team also includes Hannah MezzellDrew Melton and Alicja Colon. With a creative bunch like that, it’s no wonder their products and designs are so vibrant and nerdy.

What does Super Team Deluxe create?

They say they “haven’t thought too much about the future” but right now STD sell lapel pins, patches, and stickers.

A while back, they released a series called Sci-Fidelity: A Gallery of Miniature Proportions, perfect for fans of Star Wars, Total Recall, and Stranger Things. Most of the range is sold out as I write this, but there are still some left, including a “cute” Face Hugger pin and a Gremlin patch.

There are plenty of other niches if sci-fi isn’t your bag.

They even sell hats. Their Internet Dad baseball cap is quintessentially 90s, harking back to the days when Apple struggled and came back.

Internet Dad hat by Super Team Deluxe. The internet is not a fad – it's here to stay!

Prices that aren’t out of this world

I wish I could buy every pin, sticker, patch, print, and hat they have. I love it all. And it’s affordable, with most items priced at $10. Shipping to the UK comes in at $15, which is more reasonable than some vendors I’ve bought from in the US.

If you need to spruce up a jacket or bag, Super Team Deluxe have you covered with essential accessories for gamers, programmers, designers, and every geekazoid in between. Huzzah!