I first saw Keith's drawings when I was looking through an art book half the size of me in the library when I was 12 years old. I would frequently visit the library because I loved walking down the isles of the dimly lit library with my 1 disc walkman and would run my fingers along all the plastic covered spines of the books,I was a natural born introvert - plus I loved the smell of library books. My favorite books to pick up were Encyclopedias usually of far away places I've yet to venture onto- this book happened to be NYC. When I saw his simple bold cartoons I felt the rebel-with-a-cause inside of me get up.
Fast forward to 7 years later I was 17 and fresh on the scene. My girlfriend and I decided to copy Keith and paint our own mural. 8 cans, 2 trash bags and 1 apple later - like clockwork a sheriff came and stopped us. He basically laughed at us because we had good intentions plus planned to paper pick up after we created our mural. He took all of our goodies and left us standing there feeling lucky and dumb founded, ugh. Since then, it has became my hobby to create artwork for people just to bring them a smile and just brighten up the world. Keith's style is deliciously unique because its so simple and bold and it kind of has a tribal feeling to it. When I create art with him in mind I use him as my muse
With no surprise, Keith became a master cartoonist. He grew up on the East Coast and got his talents from his dad who was an amateur cartoonist. He started on the trains & stations of NYC and allowed that to be his 247 live museum. He was also bff with Warhol- I could only imagine the convos they would have in art deco inspired lofts above the meatpacking district- *sigh*. He was also a social activist since high school and that escalated during the 80s when HIV became wide spread. A lot of his friends contracted the unfortunate sickness and created the art for them, and eventually for himself.
He's a hero because he was the type of person who just did himself to the fullest- self expression on a 100 thousand. He was a best friend and showed his love for his friends and his people through creating captivating live art for everyone to heal through.
Long live the greatest social artivist that healed the world through courage and color
This was written by Montana Rose.