Whatever you think is real… Part 1



“I’m not sure I believe anything. Everything is, like, what you think you believe.” -Keith Haring to Tullio Francesco DeSantis

Keith and I are on the road somewhere between Kutztown and New York City.

TFD: “There is a place where people meet when they dream. I first visited one night many years ago and since then it has become a familiar place to me.”

KH: “That’s a cool idea. What happens there?”

TFD: “It’s a place to be together, look in each others’ eyes, smile, and talk about things – the nature of things. At first, it was just weird, man. But everyone acted like old friends. They said they had been waiting a long time for me to get there. “

KH: “Like a coffee house or opium den?”

TFD: “Heh heh, yeah I guess so.”

KH: “There are so many different realities.”

TFD: “So many different illusions.”

KH: “When I think of things I used to believe…I was searching for what to believe in but nothing really answered it.”

TFD: “I’ve focused my life on that. It seems like you have too. We are at two poles of the same generation. I don’t know, man. It’s like all these movements throughout history…people searching for what’s real…”

KH: “…making up these stories, believing they have the truth, forcing other people to believe the same things.”

TFD: “I studied science, philosophy, and religion. After all of that, I decided it was art that had the best way of getting at whatever truth there is. I was doing art all along and it made more sense than anything else. Hard to explain to people though.”

KH: “Yeah. It seems like a separate thing because it doesn’t really use words but it’s semiotics – a language made of signs and symbols.”

TFD: “Especially in the twentieth century, with Dada and Surrealism, artists used art as an instrument for discovery. States of mind, consciousness, dreams, reality, and illusion became the subjects of art.”

KH: “Back to dreams. I think we were here before. Where are we anyway?”

TFD: “Somewhere in New Jersey. I go this way sometimes. In fact I have to go now. How about you?”

KH: “Yep.”

I pulled over to the shoulder and we continued our dialog by a barbed wire fence.


Image: Keith Haring: Installation view, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, NYC, 1982
Photo by Tullio Francesco DeSantis

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