Keith Haring (1958-90) was one of the most renowned of the young artists, filmmakers, and performers whose work responded to urban street culture of the 1980s. Inspired by the graffiti artists whose marks covered the city’s subway cars, Haring began to draw in white chalk over the black paper used to cover vacant advertising panels. Not only was Haring able to reach a large and diverse audience with his subway drawings, but, eventually, the subway became, as Haring said, a “laboratory” for working out his ideas. As early as 1980, Haring began exhibiting in galleries and museums around the world, but continued to participate in public projects, including literacy campaigns and anti-AIDS initiatives.
Before his death, Keith Haring established a foundation in his name to maintain and enhance his legacy of giving to children’s and AIDS organizations. Throughout his career, Haring produced murals, sculptures and paintings to benefit hospitals, underprivileged children's groups and various community health organizations. Keith Haring died in New York in February 1990 of AIDS, at the age of 31.
Photo Credits: © Keith Haring Foundation. Licensed by Artestar, New York.