Home Visual Arts Is there something going on between Jeffrey Deitch and Keith Haring?

Is there something going on between Jeffrey Deitch and Keith Haring?


Jeffrey and others who claimed the Keith Haring legacy have diminished LA II’s contribution naming it a “work for hire” an LAII an unmentionable nobody.  If LA II is mentioned it is only a passing brief note.  Authoritative books, like the oversized one done by the Whitney Museum of American Art © Keith Haring (© ironic right?) and the other, Keith Haring, Jeffrey Deitch, Suzanne Geiss, Julia Gruen, publisher Rizzoli priced @ $100.00 massive  done by Deitch show numerous collaborative pieces as well as some pieces done only by LA II without giving LA II any credit.

When you study and learn something the first time, when the facts are wrong it is harder to relearn the material. Imagine how many scholars, professors, teachers, researchers, students, artists, the curious, studying these have and absorbing  misleading information.

The director of a major art museum, like MOCA, is suppose to know something about the history of art.  The director is the expert.  Now that Deitch is the new director of MOCA, wouldn’t one assume he could tell the difference between a collaboration with LA II and a piece done only by Haring whose work he has known since 1980?

Angel Ortiz is a Lower East Side Puerto Rican raised in the projects.  Is racism the reason Angel Ortiz was cut out of Keith Haring’s history?  Was LA II cut out because Haring’s work now sells for a lot of money and there is fear LA II may be entitled to some of the profits?  Not sure, but it is a tragedy no matter what.  (Keith Haring died February 16th, 1990).

Angel Ortiz came to me for help.  His frustrating story started off with a Keith Haring exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In the show they had paintings, which were Keith Haring & LA II collaborations, but only gave credit to KH.  Angel was depressed.   What could I do?  I gave him an art show and got a story into the Village Voice (Jul o2-www.villagevoice.com/2002…/keith-haring-s-silent-partner/).



  1. Remarkable piece–Well done to bring the light to this story–fascinating, I thought I knew all about Keith and had no idea of this remarkable collaboration. Shocking…and yet, not really surprising considering that LA II never received the recognition while Keith was alive and in death, well, that’s for the creditors and cannibals to determine isn’t it?

    Thanks for the thoughtful piece!

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