Keith Haring, born on May 4, 1958 in Pennsylvania, was a sensational artist during the 1980s with his works focusing on cartoon and graffiti. His interests towards art grew as his father fervidly showered his influence over the budding Haring artist. Moreover, his fascination of Walt Disney’s and Charles Schultz’s cartoon arts had contributed more to this growing interest over such type of pop art.
Haring developed his talent further by taking classes at Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh after he graduated high school. It was a commercial arts school which Haring left after realizing that being a commercial graphic artist is not of his interest. Later on, he decided to move to New York and continue his studies there. He enrolled in the School of Visual Arts. It was also in New York that he met other budding artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf who were part of the then growing community of artists who were not confined in museums and galleries.
With the said community and the influences of other famous artists like Andy Warhol, he determined to create a type of Keith Haring art that the common public can see and enjoy. He experimentally made the walls of the New York substations as his canvas. This became his laboratory. Together with a co-artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, he also organized gallery exhibitions in several locations. Their partnership earned them a considerable following. But it was in 1982 that he finally had his solo exhibition at Shafrazi Gallery, New York. These gallery exhibitions grew all the rage, and the Keith Haring art spread globally including countries such as Japan and Brazil.
In 1986, Keith Haring opened the Pop Shop at New York City to sell items imprinted with his designs. This started the Keith Haring t-philadelphia phillies nerdy couples shirts and other stuff infused with his artworks. The shop was his other means for exposure and for people to be able to avail his artworks at an agreeable cost. This entrepreneurial extension attracted criticisms, but he disregarded them all as he was determined to catch as much audience as possible, a feat which he was successful at. But that was not it alone; his drive to bring social messages enabled him to help children and create more than 50 public artworks.
1988 was not a good year for Keith Haring. He discovered that he had AIDS. Despite this, he created the Keith Haring Foundation the next year to continue his social causes, and this time to help AIDS-related organizations aside from aiding children programs. He died in 1990 as his condition became complicated.
Currently, Keith Haring paintings are exhibited in Chicago, Paris and New York. Even if new artworks from him can no longer be produced, his old paintings create a Haring-like sensation in the prestigious museums where they are exhibited.
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write by Martha