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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



KEITH HARING JOURNALS by Keith Haring (Penguin Classics Deluxe) now includes 90 black-and-white images of classic artwork including never-before-published Polaroids, with an introduction by Robert Farris Thompson. In commemoration of the twentieth anniversary of Haring’s death, Penguin commissioned Shepard Fairey, internationally renowned artist best known for his iconic Obama poster, to contribute a new foreword to this Penguin Classics Deluxe edition.  

With friends Madonna, Andy Warhol, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring is synonymous with the downtown art scene of the 1980s. Haring’s loyalty to drawing and desire to reach as wide an audience as possible led him to create drawings in white chalk on blank paper panels throughout the subway system. From 1980-1985, Haring produced hundreds of these drawings, sometimes as many as 40 a day. Even 20 years after his death in February 1990 from AIDS-related complications, his artwork—with its simple, bold lines and dynamic figures in motion—remains embedded in the world’s consciousness and is instantly recognizable. From advertising for children’s and AIDS-related charities to murals to permanent installations around the world, Haring’s work remains as iconic culturally relevant as ever. 

Staying Alive: Survival Tactics for the Artist by Robin Hopper (Krause Publications) Written by internationally recognized artist & author Robin Hopper, Staying Alive offers practical and encouraging survival strategies for developing a personal lifestyle as a creative artist. Although the content of this book primarily relates to the ceramic arts, the basic information, with its viewpoint toward self-sufficiency and survival as a creative artist, is a paradigm, easily adaptable to the majority of the creative arts.

The book is sprinkled with humor and anecdotes from 45 years of Hopper’s personal experience and incorporates personal life stories by 19 other full-time studio artists, eight individual artists and six couples or partners, selected for the diversity in their work and the variety of personal journeys which have brought them to this place, together with a selection of the work they do. Combined, have more than 500 years of studio experience in the art of Staying Alive. There are tips on business development, self-promotion, pricing and marketing: including Chapter 1, Finding the Real You; Chapter 2, Learning to Be Businesslike; Chapter 3, Pricing and Marketing; and Chapter 4, Promotion and the Development of a Personal Image.

Also included, from four specialists in the field, are chapters on

  • Legal considerations
  • Financial considerations
  • Achieving visibility in the art world
  • Photographing works of art
A combination of pragmatism, practicality and philosophy, Hopper’s guidance in Staying Alive is relevant and potentially helpful for all creative persons, no matter what the medium.

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