Keith Haring and Me

My son's school bag

At a recent Genesis Art Workshop, I told the story about my relationship to Keith Haring, the artist who decorated the New York subway stations and trains I used to ride daily from Brooklyn to my job at Columbia University. That was nearly 30 years ago.

A few years before Keith Haring tragically died of AIDS, he came to Tokyo to open his Keith Haring store in Harajuku. A journalist friend went to the opening and after interviewing him she did the most astoundingly generous thing. Susan told Keith she had a friend who loved art. Would he make a picture for her?

So that’s how I came into possession of a very personal work by Keith Haring showing four people standing tall on each others’ shoulders. At the time I was single. Could Keith have intuited that I would create a family of four through marriage and two children? I wouldn’t put it past him. The way Keith created — quickly, prolifically, joyously– through inspiration and the laws of attraction, make it very likely that his artwork was permeated with spot-on intuitive insights.

Keith made this drawing for me in 88. Scroll ahead ten years to a nursing home in London where in ’98 I’m holding hands with my grandmother. She lets go to reach into her pocket and pull out a belt buckle that she wanted me to have. She said that it’s not worth much, just a metal buckle she wore around her neck on a string. I put the belt buckle into a drawer and forgot about it.

Scroll ahead another 17 years. It’s my son’s graduation from Wako elementary school. I’ve had an uneasy relationship with his school over the years, the tension that comes from sending my son to a Japanese school where his English abilities are, at best, politely ignored. Standing at graduation ceremonies, I felt relief that he was moving on. Then it caught my eye on the gymnasium curtain–that same funny little stick figure dancing man logo Keith had drawn, that was on my grandmother’s belt buckle, was in fact the Wako school logo. How I could have missed this connection over our family’s nine year affiliation with the school behooves me!! But I suppose when I was ready to make the connection with an open heart and appreciation the dancing man was there to receive me. Seeing the connection, it felt like such a validation that my son had been at exactly the right school, the one that my grandmother even would have approved of, and perhaps Keith intuited as well.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the intuitive connection between your art and your life, the Genesis Art Workshop introductory workshops are the place to get your questions answered and experience this fascinating process of drawing with an open and intuitive heart.

There’s still last-minute space for Sunday August 30th 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm workshop in central Tokyo– Okachimachi and a last-minute discount when you bring a friend: Reg ¥4,000 — Special ¥2,000 To sign up please call: 090-4122-6626.

A special Genesis Art Workshop will take place September 6th from 5:30-8:30 at Sun and Moon Yoga Studio for those who are ready to stretch mind, body and crayons!For details see:

Special thanks for inspiring this blog goes to Yumi Nakauchi, who kindly wrote about her own intuitive art experience at a recent Genesis Art Workshop here: You can see Keith Haring’s are for me here.

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