Gallery 98 has recently acquired souvenir clothing items from Keith Haring‘s annual Party of Life. Planned around his May 4th birthday, Haring staged three Party of Life events from 1984 – 86.
The first, held at Paradise Garage, was a grand affair, where Haring and LA II completely transformed the club into a total environment with spray-painted fluorescent banners and huge vinyl tarps with Keith’s paintings. The DJ was Larry Levan, and Madonna debuted two songs from her upcoming album Like A Virgin. With his sudden rise to fame and fortune, Keith wanted to give back to his friends, and created silk-screened tank tops that were given out as party souvenirs.
The subsequent two parties were held at the much larger Palladium. At the 1985 Party for Life, Boy George sang Happy Birthday, and a celebrity-studded crowd far exceeded the club’s capacity, and literally closed traffic on 14th Street. For the third Party of Life, Haring created a pair of disco shorts to match the tank top.
These items have never been worn, and are in pristine condition.