With a visual language that can now be seen everywhere from graffiti-adorned walls to baby bibs and phone cases, Keith Haring (1958-1990) is 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 became first known for his graffiti work in the subways of New York, and 1980 began organizing exhibitions at Club 57. He then continued to branch out beyond New York, completing public works around the world, one of which consisted of painting a portion of the Berlin Wall. Honest and forward about his AIDS diagnosis, Haring made great efforts to connect with his audience, working on projects in public health centers and setting up Pop Shops, stores where various paraphernalia sporting his designs were sold, in an effort to democratize access to his work.
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.