Retrospect by Keith Haring
Retrospect by Keith Haring
Keith Haring was one of the 20th century’s most influential artists and social activists whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s – Keith Haring’s drawings have become a universally recognized image.
Born on May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania. His parents, Allen and Joan Haring, raised Haring and his three sisters in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. As a child, Haring was fascinated by the cartoon art of Walt Disney and Charles Schultz and the illustrations of Dr. Seuss. He spent many hours drawing with his father, an engineer whose hobby was cartooning. After graduating he decided to move to New York City to enroll at the School of Visual Arts. Haring arrived in New York, it was home to a thriving underground art scene. Haring befriended fellow emerging artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, who shared his interest in the colorful and transgressive graffiti art of the city’s streets. Haring and these other artists organized exhibitions at downtown nightclubs and other alternative locations, where art, music and fashion all came together in a dynamic mix. Haring began using the city as his canvas. Riding the subway, he noticed the black paper rectangles of empty advertising panels on station walls; using white chalk, he began filling these black panels with simple, quickly drawn pictures.
His signature images included dancing figures, a “radiant baby” (a crawling infant emitting rays of light), a barking dog, a flying saucer, large hearts, and figures with televisions for heads. These graffiti drawings attracted the attention of New York commuters, as well as the city authorities: Haring was arrested for vandalism on numerous occasions.Haring soon began to apply his universally recognizable imagery to freestanding drawings and paintings. The energy and optimism of his art, with its bold lines and bright colors, brought him popularity with a wide audience. He had his first solo exhibition in 1981, at the Westbeth Painters Space in Manhattan. In 1982 he began to show his art at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery, which would represent him for the rest of his career. Throughout the 1980s, Haring’s work was exhibited widely both within the United States and internationally. He also collaborated with other artists and performers, including Andy Warhol, Grace Jones and William S. Burroughs.
- Keith Haring: Growing
- Keith Haring’s Public Art in New York City
- Keith Haring and the Celebration of Humanity
- Keith Haring and the Pop Shop
- Subway Drawings By Keith Haring
- Dogs in Art: Reinterpreted by Keith Haring
- Keith Haring Pop Art of the Street
- Apocalypse by Keith Haring
- Keith Haring’s Pyramids and Totems
- Icons by Keith Haring
- Keith Haring Subway Drawings
- Keith Haring’s Pop Shop
- Americana and Cultural Satire at Guy Hepner