In the midst of his incredible rise to fame, Keith Haring visited Melbourne for a number of weeks in 1984. During this time he undertook a series of public works including a now-iconic mural in Collingwood and a mural commissioned for the NGV’s Waterwall.
Haring died on 16 February 1990 at the age of thirty-one from AIDS related complications. Marking the 30th anniversary of his death and set in front of the re-interpretation of his mural currently on display on the NGV’s Waterwall, guests from Melbourne’s arts community reflect on Haring’s time in Melbourne.
Meg Slater is Assistant Curator in the International Exhibition Projects department at the NGV. Since 2017, Meg has worked on a number of the NGV’s major international exhibitions, including MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art, Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor and Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines. Prior to the NGV, Meg completed internships in the Curatorial, Exhibitions Management and Public Programs departments of a number of museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Brooklyn Museum in New York. In 2016, Meg graduated from the University of Queensland with a Dual Degree in Art History and Business. Meg is currently undertaking a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.
Associate Professor Lachlan MacDowall is a Director at the MIECAT Institute in Fitzroy. His research examines modes of urban informality such as graffiti and street art and its relationship to digital platforms and policy regimes. He has published widely in this area and works closely with artists, local governments, heritage agencies and galleries. MacDowall was a contributor to the publication Caterpillars & Computers: Keith Haring in Australia, locating Haring’s outdoor works within Melbourne’s own traditions of street art.
Hannah Mathews is Senior Curator at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA). She is an experienced curator who has worked with contemporary art organisations such as the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) and the Sydney Biennale. Mathews was instrumental in advocating for the restoration of the Keith Haring mural in Collingwood and is also editor of Caterpillars & Computers: Keith Haring in Australia.
Mark Schaller is a German/Australian artist born in Hamburg, West Germany in 1962 who lives and works in Melbourne. Schaller was a founding member of Roar Studios in the early 1980s and his paintings, prints and sculptures have been included in solo and group exhibitions in Australia and internationally. His work is held in major national collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria and the National Gallery of Australia. During his visit to Melbourne in February 1984, Haring met Schaller who helped him to source tins of the red, black and white sign writers paint Haring used to create his waterwall mural.