Keith Haring: Radiant Vision

25 May 2024 – 25 Aug 2024

Regular hours

11:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 18:00

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Keith Allen Haring (1958-1990) was born on May 4, 1958, and grew up in a middle-class family of six in the tiny borough of Kutztown, Pennsylvania. His father, an amateur cartoonist, taught Keith to draw his own characters—inspired by Disney and Dr. Seuss—as young as four-years-old. A boy who “never stopped drawing,” Haring enrolled in a commercial arts school in 1976, only to realize the graphic arts bore little interest for him. Two years later, he moved to New York City to study painting at the School of Visual Arts. There he befriended Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Together, the three artists became immersed in the underground art scene, their large-scale paintings taking inspiration from the graffiti, music, dance, and counterculture that surrounded them downtown.

In the summer of 1980, Haring left SVA and began making street art. His satirical posters and enigmatic subway drawings garnered him rapid notoriety amongst the public, the police, and, most notably, the art establishment. By 1982, Haring exhibited his artwork—now colorfully painted on vast swaths of tarpaulin or oaktag card stock—in voguish galleries, amassing buyers and critical acclaim. Haring took advantage of his new-found influence and spent much of the mid-1980s making public art, including commemorative murals, charitable commissions, and humanitarian poster campaigns. He was a firm believer in “art for all” and developed celebrity collaborations (Madonna, Grace Jones), advertising campaigns (Adidas, Absolut), and even his storefront (the Pop Shop) to share his work with people from all walks of life.

Tragically, Haring was diagnosed with AIDs at the peak of his career in 1988. He died of complications from the disease on February 16, 1990, at the age of 31.

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Keith Haring

Keith Haring


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