Keith Haring: 1958 – 1990
Keith Haring died of AIDS-related illnesses in 1990 at the age of 31.
The Keith Haring Foundation was established in 1989 to assist AIDS-related and children’s charities, and maintains the largest resource of archives on the late artist, Keith Haring.
Haring’s bold lines and active figures carry poignant messages of vitality and unity. His legacy made an impact on late 20th century art and grants us all a vision for the future.
“Initially viewed simply as a graffiti artist who used vacant advertising boards in the New York subway as his canvas in the early 1980s, Keith Haring (1959-1990) provoked debate on the street and within the exclusive art establishment with his radiant comic figures and increasingly political messages.
Arriving in New York in 1978 to study at the School of Visual Arts, Haring was inspired by the East Village club scene identified with punk and rap music, breakdancing and graffiti as a public statement of personal expression. Working with remarkable speed and clarity, Haring’s images convey a conspicuous energy in the brevity of his line, bold color relationships conveying his early interest in graphic design, and simplified figurative forms.
As he became prominent with the gallery and museum world, Haring provoked additional debate by purposely commercializing his own work, reproducing his signature figures on an array of products and opening his own retail stores including Wham Bam in Miami and the Pop Shop in New York. Success afforded him the opportunity to control his own market and remain independent, crucial to his vision of his work.
From 1985 until his death in 1990 from complications due to AIDS, Haring concentrated much of his extraordinary energy on visual political messages, particularly focusing on generating action and conveying the dangers and effects of AIDS.”
I don’t think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it. – Keith Haring
video used in tribute and for non profit purposes