b. 1958 Reading, Pennsylvania, USA - d. 1990 New York City, New York, USA
1979 School of Visual Arts, New York
Actively communicating with the late 1970s’ alternative New York art community burgeoning outside the art institutions, Haring experimented with various artistic means such as collage, performance, video and installation. In 1980, the artist began to create his ‘subway drawings’- white chalk drawings on matte black paper covering unused advertising panels in the subway stations. Haring’s interaction with contemporary street artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and influences from the works of Jean Dubuffet, William Burroughs and Robert Henri led him to pursue issues on the fundamental freedom and independence of the artist.
With simple, graffiti-like drawings and their direct messages of birth, death and love, Haring devoted his career to approach a wider audience, which resulted in public projects such as a mural for the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty (1986), on which the artist worked with 900 children and the exterior mural of the Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris (1987).
After being diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, the artist established the Keith Haring Foundation in 1989 to generate the awareness of AIDS and provide funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children’s programs.
All images © Keith Haring Foundation New York