About Keith Haring

Keith Haring circa 1988

Keith Haring circa 1988 | Photo by dmax3270

Keith Haring (1958-1990) was born in Reading PA and raised in Kutztown, PA. Haring developed a love for drawing at a very early age. In 1978 he moved to NYC and enrolled in the School of Visual Arts. In New York Haring found a thriving alternative art community that was developing outside the gallery and museum system, in the downtown streets, the subways and spaces in clubs and former dance halls. Here he became friends with fellow artist Jean Michel Basquiat, as well as performance artists and graffiti writers that comprised the burgeoning art scene of the late 70’s. Haring was swept up in the energy and spirit of New York City’s art community and began to organize and participate in exhibitions.

Haring was inspired by the public nature of the Christo’s installations, in particular Running Fence, and by Andy Warhol’s unique fusion of art and life. Haring decided to devote his career to creating a truly public art. Between 1980-1985, Haring produced hundreds of public drawings in rapid rhythmic lines, sometimes creating as many as 40 subway drawings in one day. These images became familiar to NY commuters, who would often stop to chat with the artist when they encountered him at work. Between 1980-1989, Haring achieved international acclaim and participated in many group and solo exhibitions. Haring devoted much of his time to public works, which often carried social messages many of which were created for charities, hospitals and children’s day care centers.

Since his death in 1990, Haring has been the subject of several international retrospectives.
The work of Keith Haring can be seen today in the exhibitions and collections of major museums around the world.