This mural is one of 16 public works painted at hospitals and children’s centers around the world during the artist’s lifetime. Painted in one day, the mural incorporates cartoon characters and animals inspired by the artist’s childhood drawings. When
South of Market Childcare Center (SOMACC) lost its lease and moved to a new location in September 2006, the mural was dismantled and was on view at Deitch Projects in 2010.
This mural on a handball court at 128th Street and 2nd Avenue in East Harlem was inspired by the crack epidemic and its effect on New York City. It was created as a warning and was initially executed independently without permission. Facing possible jail time the mural caught the attention of the NY Post which ran an article on it and Haring gained the public’s support. He ended up being fined only $100.
The mural was soon vandalized so a worker in the Parks Department painted over it without permission. Haring was then asked to paint the mural again.
The mural was immediately put under the protection and jurisdiction of the City Department of Parks and still exists.