“Keith Haring’s Ghost” is no Longer a Convicted Criminal

Chip Southward, a painter at the CoRK art district, referred to himself to as “Keith Haring’s Ghost” while he painted utility boxes in the style of Keith Haring to “offer a critique of where Jacksonville stood on gay rights, race relations and gun violence.” Police arrested Southward and charged him with a felony, claiming that he had caused over $1,000 worth of damage. After a long debate amongst city leaders about whether the paintings should be banned or not, The State Attorney’s Office reduced Southward’s crime to a misdemeanor, and he was ordered to pay for the damage and complete community service hours. Southward’s work includes copying Haring’s iconic “angel,” attaching a hoodie, and dedicating it to Trayvon Martin. Southward felt that the city of Jacksonville needed an “open conversation” about it’s problems, and that his artwork proved to be a catalyst for just that. Should Southward be criticized for copying the famous Keith Haring’s work? Do you think that through his artwork, Southward was paying his respects to Haring, as well as showing support for him? Or do you think that Southward had no right to call himself “Keith Haring’s Ghost?” Furthermore, do you believe that Southward’s crime would have been reduced had he not been copying the work of Keith Haring? Read the full article here: http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2014-06-16/story/judge-drops-keith-harings-ghosts-criminal-conviction-orders-artist-pay

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