Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
The Art Newspaper reports that the last surviving mural Keith Haring painted entirely on his own, and the first project he completed with the assistance of a cherry picker, is in dire need of preservation. Painted in 1984 during Haring’s only visit to Australia, the mural occupies the wall of the former Collingwood Technical College in a Melbourne suburb. Last restored in 1996, the significant work has not been maintained for almost 15 years, and suffers from significant surface lifting and cracking of the paint. Estimates to stabilize the outdoor work are reported at A$25,000 ($22,000 US), with an additional A$1,000 ($900) for annual upkeep.
Several major Australian arts institutions and local municipalities have banned together to raise support for its restoration. “It is our own government who has lapsed in its duty of care,” said one spokesperson, noting that the building is owned by the Victorian State Government and that the mural sits on its heritage registry.
”Yarra’s mayor Jane Garrett said, “The mural is a part of Yarra and inner-Melbourne’s cultural and physical landscape—and we want to ensure it stays that way,” adding that interested parties were in the process of setting up a working group including representatives from the arts community and other interested parties to “discuss the mural’s future and come to a consensus on the most appropriate way to preserve it.”
In more productive news, a new series of Keith Haring adhesive wall graphics (pictured below) has been released by Bilk, with several different designs available from $18 – $55.