With a visual language that can now be seen everywhere from graffiti-adorned walls to baby bibs and phone cases, Keith Haring (1958-1990) was one of the most iconic artists of his generation, known for his presence in street culture and political engagement with the climate of the 1980s, commenting on topics such as birth, death, sexuality, and war.
Haring was born in Reading, Pennsylvania and studied painting at the School of Visual Arts. Heavily influenced by the writings of William Burroughs, Haring paid close attention to the potentials of interconnectivity and cross-referencing between images.
He first became known for his graffiti work in the subways of New York and began organizing exhibitions at Club 57 in 1980. Haring continued his prolific public works around the world, including painting a portion of the Berlin wall. Haring also focused on establishing a connection with his audience by creating projects in public health centers and setting up “Pop Shops”, stores where various paraphernalia sporting his designs were sold, in an effort to make his work accessible to all.
Haring’s works have also been featured in the 1983 Whitney Biennial (New York), Centre d’Arts Plastiques Contemporains (Bordeaux), and the São Paulo Biennial. He has also been the subject of posthumous retrospectives at institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, the Whitney Museum (New York), and the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
RxART, working together with The Keith Haring Foundation, produced a mural for the entrance of La Rabida Children’s Hospital and a mural for the Pediatric Emergency Department at NYC Health and Hospitals/Harlem.