Keith Haring was an American artist who became well known in the early 1980’s for experimenting with chalk drawings upon black panels in the New York City subway stations. Creating as many as 40 drawings a day, his work became very familiar to subway commuters who would stop to watch the artist at work. According to the Keith Haring Foundation, Haring described the subway as his “laboratory,” for “working out his ideas and experimenting with his simple lines.”
Haring’s career grew as he created billboards in Times Square, backdrops for theater productions, public sculptures and held several solo exhibitions. He produced over 50 public art installations around the world, many of which presented social messages. He collaborated with significant poets, performers and other artists of that time period including Madonna, William Burroughs, Yoko Ono and Andy Warhol.
After being diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, Haring established the Keith Haring Foundation. Their mission is to “sustain, expand, and protect the legacy of Keith Haring, his art, and his ideals” and it also “supports not-for-profit organizations that assist children, as well as organizations involved in education, research and care related to AIDS.” Haring passed away at the age of 30 in 1991. His work can be viewed in major museums and galleries around the world, and he will be featured at Pace Prints and the Children’s Museum of New York this fall.
For more information and to browse works from his career, visit the Keith Haring Foundation website: http://www.haring.com/.