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Brad Gooch with Scott Méxcal

The Life and Line of Keith Haring

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Tuesday, March 19
7:30 pm PDT
Learn more about Sliding Scale tickets.


The Wyncote NW Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, 98101 United States
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Note: Town Hall events are approximately 75 minutes long. 

Book cover: A yellow background with an image of Keith Haring sitting in front of his artwork. The image has a thin black outline. Big black text above the picture of Keith says “Radiant, The Life and Line of Keith Haring.”
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Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring

The Elliott Bay Book Company
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Headshots of Brad Gooch and Scott Mexcal
Arts & Culture

Going into the 1980’s, keen observers in the New York City subway system might run across swaths of unused ad space embellished with ephemeral chalk drawings of a signature crawling baby, done by a young artist tapping into the era’s experimental street art scene.

By the end of the decade, Keith Haring’s work would become internationally recognizable as well as deeply personal and political as both the world and Haring himself grappled with the harrowing realities of the AIDS crisis. In his new biography, Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring, author Brad Gooch aims to bring new light to Haring’s legacy in pop art, public works, and LGBTQ advocacy for a new generation.

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Through input from over two hundred individuals and sources including the archives of the Haring estate, Gooch has compiled a rich and immersive journey through the life and works of Keith Haring. Informed by both documented and lived experience, this portal into 1980s New York is steeped with the themes of accessibility, excess, rebellion, and social activism that permeated Haring’s short but staggering career and continues to find.

“With his early belief that art could change the world for the better, and wishing to make it accessible and affordable for everyone, Haring, against all odds, succeeded at his democratizing mission. In our own era of engagement by so many artists with any available surface; with personal icons and licensing; with activism, collaborating, communication; and with the fostering of community, Keith Haring seems more than ever one of us.” 

Brad Gooch is a New York Times bestselling poet, novelist, and biographer whose works span multiple genres including the arts, religion and spirituality, and LGBTQ experience. He is the recipient of the National Endowment for the Humanities and Guggenheim fellowships. His books include Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O’Hara; and the memoir Smash Cut, which chronicles Gooch’s youth in the incandescently creative climate of 1970’s-80’s New York City.

Scott Méxcal is a public artist, scholar, and art activist. Born and raised in Albuquerque New Mexico, Scott grew up amongst the Nopal and Yucca learning the fundamentals of Chicano Street Art. In 2000, Scott moved to the PNW to earn his BFA from Northwest College of Art and later studied classical painting at Gage Academy of Art in the Aristides Atelier. In 2022, Scott was awarded an MFA through Prescott College in Social and Environmental Practice Art. Scott has lectured at the Seattle Artists of Color Expo and Symposium (ACES), created public art projects, commissions, and exhibitions throughout Seattle, and supports the fight to close the NW Detention Center with Tsuru for Solidarity and La Resistencia.

Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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