Keith Haring was born in Reading, Pennsylvania May 4, 1958 and passed away in New York City on February 16, 1990 at the age of 31. He studied at the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh and at the School of Visual Art in New York. As one of the biggest pieces in the AIDS awareness movement, Keith Haring was an American artist most known for his graffiti art and pop art, and was also a social activist who work reacted to the New York City street scene of the 1980s, and addressed and expressed concepts of birth and death, as well as war and sexuality.
Keith Haring began receiving public attention and accolades with his public art in subway stations. He then began organizing exhibitions, which were then filmed by a famous photographer. Haring’s work has several key, unique indicators, such as vivid colors and bold lines. His images and figures also strongly communicate messages of unity and life. Keith Haring has a unique style that is all his own, and uses his work to attract a wide audience.
Upon graduating from high school, Haring enrolled in college but quickly learned that he had little to no interest in a future as a commercial graphic artist, which is when he moved to New York to pursue how own art. As a student of SVA, Haring experimented with various media, but always maintained close ties with drawing.
By the early 1980s, Haring had developed close friendships with several other fellow artists, including Madonna and Jean-Michele Basquiat. He also came to know the famed Andy Warhol, who later turned into the theme or inspiration for some of Haring’s pieces, including Andy Mouse. It has been speculated that Haring’s success hinged on his connection and friendship with Andy Warhol.
Many of Haring’s pieces present sexuality as a recurring theme throughout his work, and the act almost always has a dark and sinister feeling to it. It would later come out that Haring’s perceptions and views of sex were affected by constant fear and worry, as the full threat of AIDS began to become apparent. In fact, Haring’s late works often revolve around AIDS, likely due to the fact that the virus played a large role in his personal life. Haring lost many friends and eventually succumbing to the virus himself, Haring felt personally responsible to help increase public awareness of the virus, and therefore he routinely referenced it in many of his late works.
Keith Haring has many famous and well-known pieces of art, including the following:
- Moses and the Burning Bush
- Debbie Dick
- Keith and Julia
- Folding Screen
- Installation Shafrazi Gallery 1982
- St. Sebastian
- Michael Stewart – USA for Africa
- Cruella De Vil
- Big Bad Wolf
Keith Haring Artwork
While some people may not recognize his name, almost everyone immediately recognizes Haring’s artwork and style as soon as the see one of his works. Keith Haring leaves behind a great legacy, including the Keith Haring Foundation, which he founded himself in 1989. This foundation perpetuates both Haring’s philanthropic and artistic legacies, which the Foundation is able to continue, even to this day.
During his brief but intense career that spanned most of the 1980s, Keith Haring’s work has been featured in a large number of solo and group exhibitions, and has allowed him to work with some of the biggest names in performing art.
If you have any questions about Keith Haring or his artwork, or if you would like to see limited edition prints or posters, then you have come to the right place! We are Hamilton-Selway Fine Art, and we have enjoyed being in business on the west coast for nearly the past 15 years.
We boast a large inventory of fine art, and we are sure to have a piece that is just right for you – and we also continuously strive to deliver the very best in customer service. We are unlike other galleries and enjoy a unique niche position in the market, allowing us to leverage our large inventory into a positive buying experience for our clients and offering the right piece of art at the right price. Browse through our website and then give us a call or connect online today to learn more!