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KEITH HARING (1958 1990)
ART :::

His iconic contour line chalk drawings on vacated ad panels in subway stations made him the talk of the town in NYC in the early 80's.Fantastic creations, political, sexual, global cartoons emblazened these blank, black rectangles ripe for the taking. Dancing dogs, radiant babies, ufos boom boxes, humans, computers, clocks, snakes, monsters and angels danced, cried, laughed and rejoiced together. Symbolizing subjects such as hope, fear, war, joy, love, sexuality, technology, change and the need for more change, his works were universally understood. His messages spoke of problems globally as well as locally. Apartheid, the crack epidemic, gay rights, the environment are just a few of the issues he outlined across subway stations thruought the burroughs of New York City and the world. Haring conveyed strong lasting messages with the minimalist techniques artists and shamans have been using to draw on cave walls and pyramid halls for thousands of years. The best and worse of human emotions were conveyed in hit-and-run drawings within minutes.

With the grace of a ballet dancer, he formed the spirited outlines of the actors and backdrops to his messages of redemption, courage and love. With one eye on the drawing and one eye looking out for the cops he juxtaposed active, vibrant images creating his own language communicating to and inspiring the masses. As his work grew in popularity he was invited to show works in prestigeous galleries and create murals around the world. He was part of the Downtown 500, good friends with Jean-Michel Basquiat, Madonna and Kenny Scharf. He later ran with the Warhol crowd but never forgot the neighborhood kids. Always volunteering to help out with community projects spreading his message of one world politics, safe sex and human rights awareness.

Interested in bridging the worlds of high and low art Haring opened several pop shops where he featured colorful screen printed clothing, prints, pins, hats and other collectible memorabillia. The shops were decorated floor to ceiling with his art. Created as an art project/statement the shops welcomed all fans of his art. Kids from the Bronx mixed with global collectors breaking down the walls of who gets to appreciate art. His mural work continued until his death in 1990 at the age of 32 from HIV/AIDS. Thruought his career and even more in his final years he was a strong AIDS activist doing everything he could to raise awareness and money for research.

His work combined many genres and appealed to people of all ages and social standing. He painted and drew on anything. Nothing was sacred or spared if Keith had a brush in his hand. He had a gift for breaking it down. A true eye for symbols and the power of combining them for a global message. He was brave and insightful and loved by many.


- Joey Mars

Keith Haring - Crack Is Wack - 1986   Keith Haring - A Very Special Christmas - 1987

Keith Haring - Ignorance = Fear - 1989




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