During the 1983 Montreux Jazz Festival, the original owner of this work, Rupert Smith asked Keith Haring to draw something on his motorcycle helmet. The artist had been invited to Montreux by the festival’s director, Claude Nobs, where he sketched on various objects (including a green Land Rover) and designed the promotional poster. Unsure of what he should ask the artist to sketch, Haring suggested that he could draw a guardian angel to keep him safe on his motorcycle. Smith loved the idea, and the cherished helmet remained in his collection for more than 20 years. 

Haring drawing on a festival-goers t-shirt. Photographer Philippe Dutoit © 1983 Claude Nobs’ Archives

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