In the Spring 1982, Keith Haring created his first major outdoor mural on the Houston Bowery Wall in New York City which stayed on view for a few weeks. He often said that "the public needs art and it is the responsibility of a 'self-proclaimed artist' to realize that the public needs art, and not to make bourgeois art for a few and ignore the masses."
In 2008, the Houston Bowery Wall became a permanent outdoor exhibition space created by Tony Goldman and Jeffrey Deitch, the first new mural being this tribute to the original Keith Haring mural on what would have been his 50th birthday. Since then a number of well-known street artists have created murals on the wall, including Kenny Sharf.
In Interview Magazine, Henri Geldzahler suggests that Basquiat has "improved the streets". Basquiat answered "I think I have to give that crown to Keith Haring. I haven’t worked in the streets in so long".
Keith Haring Foundation
Interview Magazine, January 1983
Keith and Houston St, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 14" x 11" (36 x 28 cm)