The Reason Keith Haring Chose a Baby Logo

“When I was 21 I spent a summer teaching ‘Art’ at a day-care center in Brooklyn. It was the most fulfilling summer of my life. There is nothing that makes me happier than making a child smile. The reason that the ‘baby’ has become my logo or signature is that it is the purest and most positive experience of human existence.

Children are the bearers of life in its simplest and most joyous form. Children are color-blind and still free of all the complications, greed, and hatred that will slowly be instilled in them through life.

I will never forget some of the adults who touched me through my childhood. Sometimes very brief encounters have made an impact that is very lasting and very real. If it is possible for me to have that kind of effect on any children, I think that would be the most important and useful thing I could do.

Touching people’s lives in a positive way is as close as I can get to an idea of religion…

…Children know something that most people have forgotten. Children possess a fascination with their everyday existence that is very special and would be very helpful to adults if they could learn to understand and respect it.

I am now 28 years old on the outside and nearly 12 years old on the inside. I always want to stay 12 years old on the inside.” Keith Haring, July 7, 1986, Montreux.

Keith Haring Journals, Penguin Books, 1996.

Fergie Christmas Tree

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The name “Fergie” means different things to different people. To some, it is the nickname of Manchester United’s ennobled former manager. To others, it is the nickname of England’s charitable duchess. At The Intermediate Period, “Fergie” means, quite simply, “Christmas.”

Season’s greetings to all! 
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Jean-Marie Le Pen’s Portrait

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On September 9, 2016, Newsnight viewers saw the inside of Front National founder Jean-Marie Le Pen’s apartment. Crammed with knickknacks and artifacts, it also boasted an enormous oil painting of the retired politician. Dressed up like a buccaneer, with a telescope in his hand and a white ferret perched on his shoulder, the unusual painting could also be seen reproduced on Le Pen’s coffee table, in the foreground of the painting of Jesus Christ and the statue of Joan of Arc.

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At La Grenouillère, by Guy de Maupassant

Renoir La Grenouillère (“the frog-pond”) was a popular bathing spot and a floating cafe on the Seine. It was painted by Renoir and Monet, and the setting of “Femme Fatale,” a short story by Guy de Maupassant. 

“The place reeked of vice and corruption and the dregs of Parisian society in all its rottenness gathered there: cheats, conmen and cheap hacks rubbed shoulders with under-age dandies, old roués and rogues, sleazy underworld types once notorious for things best forgotten mingled with other small-time crooks and speculators, dabblers in dubious ventures, frauds, pimps, and racketeers. Cheap sex, both male and female, was on offer in this tawdry meat-market of a place where petty rivalries were exploited, and quarrels picked over nothing in an atmosphere of fake gallantry where swords or pistols at dawn settled matters of highly questionable honour in the first place.

… Despite the proximity of the river and the huge trees shading it, the place was suffocatingly hot. Mingling with the fumes of spilt drinks came the smell of flesh and the cheap perfume with which the skin of those trading in sex was drenched. Underlying all these smells was the slight but persistent aroma of talc, which wafted with varying intensity as if an unseen hand were waving some gigantic powder-puff over the entire scene.”

Femme Fatale, Guy de Maupassant, translated by Siân Miles, Penguin Books.

Painting: La Grenouillère, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1869,

Martin Kippenberger Selects Franz Marc’s Horses

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Martin Kippenberger: “My parents always took us five children into the Folkwang Museum in Essen. My father would start a competition among us to find the best picture in the place. The winner would get one Deutsch-Mark from him. Naturally we always picked out the picture we thought he would like best, not the one that would have been important to us. We were influenced in this choice by what hung in our own living room, which meant it didn’t take us long for us to choose Franz Marc’s horses. In the end each of us got one Deutsch-Mark. This didn’t exactly help us to think freely. Father just wanted to feel he was right. And he paid his own children for that by using the side alley of art. And we gave him what we wanted. But I saw through this immediately. That’s the way our general understanding of art functions today. Don’t open anything up. Go to a museum and think yourself free?! Ridiculous. The pictures just can’t accomplish this.”

Martin Kippenberger Ten years after, Angelika Muthesius, Hrsg./ Ed. Taschen, Taschen, 1991. 

Franz Marc, Horse In Landscape, 1910

Egon Schiele letter to Franz Hauer, collector, August 1912

Egon Schiele“At the moment I am mainly observing the body movement of mountains, water, trees, and flowers. Everywhere there are reminders of movements in the human body, which are similar to the rushes of joy and pain in plants. Painting alone is not enough for me. I know that it is possible to create intrinsic qualities with colours.–In the secret places of the heart it is possible to imagine an autumnal tree in the middle of summer; it is that melancholy that I would like to paint…”

Egon Schiele, the Egoist, Jean-Louise Gaillemin, Abrams Discoveries,

Egon Schiele, Self-portrait, 1912