I am in contact with attorneys for the Estate of Keith Haring. They are requesting I remove the images documenting the work that may be Keith’s. The Estate is taking the position that, as they may not be Keith’s work, they may infringe on the copyright and trademarks owned by the Estate.
While I totally respect Keith’s copyrights and trademarks – the copyrights and trademarks of the Estate – I also hold in highest esteem the public’s right to know and the freedom-of-expression rights of artists, writers, and citizens to tell their stories.
These rights seem to be in conflict in this situation. However, as I have never asserted that the works are, in fact, by Keith, and, as I have stated their need for authentication, I am operating on principles that respect the rights of Keith’s Estate, the public’s right to know, and free expression.
I will continue to tell the story of Keith and me as well as the story behind these extraordinary objects. These are complex and difficult stories. I certainly endeavor to relate them both responsibly and respectfully.
I also desire to work in cooperation and collaboration with the Estate of Keith Haring and the Keith Haring Foundation. I have contacted the attorneys for the Estate with these positions.
Image: Letter from Keith Haring to Tullio Francesco DeSantis, 1981.
Collection of Tullio Francesco DeSantis.