Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) was an artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York City street culture of the 1980s.
Early lifeBorn in Reading, Pennsylvania, Haring grew up in Kutztown with his mother, Joan Haring, and his father, Allen Haring, a cartoonist. He also had three younger sisters, Kay, Karen and Kristen. Keith's parents wanted to name all their children with names that started with K. Haring was interested in art from an early age. From 1976 to 1978 he studied commercial art at The Ivy School of Professional Art, an art school in Pittsburgh. He soon lost interest in commercial art and moved on to study Fine Arts.
At age 19, in 1978, Haring moved to New York City, where he was inspired by graffiti art, and studied at the School of Visual Arts.
public art). These were his first recognized pieces of pop art. The exhibitions were filmed by the photographer Tseng Kwong Chi. Around this time, "The Radiant Baby" became his symbol. His bold lines, vivid colors, and active figures carry strong messages of life and unity. Starting in 1980, he organized exhibitions in Club 57. He participated in the Times Square Exhibition and drew, for the first time, animals and human faces. In 1981 he sketched his first chalk drawings on black paper and painted plastic, metal and found objects.
Haring contributed to the New York New Wave display in 1981 and in 1982, he had his first exclusive exhibition in the Tony Shafrazi Gallery. That same year, Haring took part in Documenta 7 in Kassel, Germany. By 1982, he established friendships with fellow emerging artists Futura 2000, Kenny Scharf, Madonna and Jean-Michel Basquiat. That same year he took part in Public Art Fund's "Messages to the Public" in which he created work for a Spectacolor Board in Times Square. He took part in the Whitney Biennial in 1983, as well as in the São Paulo Biennial. He got to know Andy Warhol, who was the theme of several of Haring's pieces including "Andy Mouse." His friendship with Warhol would prove to be a decisive element in his eventual success, particularly after their deaths.
In December 2007, an area of the American Textile Building in the TriBeCa neighborhood of New York City was discovered to contain a painting of Haring's from 1979.
International artIn 1984, Haring visited Australia and painted wall murals in Melbourne (such as the 1984 'Detail-Mural at Collingwood College, Victoria') and Sydney and received a AU$1000 commission from the National Gallery of Victoria and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art to create a mural, based on his graffiti designs, which temporarily replaced the water curtain at the National Gallery. He also visited and painted in Rio de Janeiro, the Paris Museum of Modern Art, Minneapolis and Manhattan. He even designed a jacket worn by a pink-wigged Madonna for a performance of her song "Like a Virgin" for the TV dance program Solid Gold.
In 1985 Haring started to paint canvas. Simultaneously, the Museum of Modern Art in Bordeaux opened an exhibition of his works, and took part in the Paris Biennial. He made an appearance on MTV in November 1985, painting the set during a "guest VJ" special hosted by his friend, keyboardist Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran. In 1986 Haring painted murals in Amsterdam, Paris, Phoenix and in Berlin on the Berlin Wall at Brandenburg Gate. As well, he painted the body of Grace Jones for her music video "I'm Not Perfect." and opened a retail store in SoHo called Pop Shop, selling merchandise bearing his iconic images including t-shirts, toys, posters and other objects with reproductions of his art; the outlet closed in 2005. Haring also created advertising images for Absolut vodka and Swatch watches.
When asked about the "commercialism" of his work, Mr. Haring said: "I could earn more money if I just painted a few things and jacked up the price. My shop is an extension of what I was doing in the subway stations, breaking down the barriers between high and low art." By the arrival of Pop Shop, his work began reflecting more socio-political themes, such as anti-Apartheid, AIDS awareness, and the crack cocaine epidemic. He even created several pop art pieces influenced by other products: Absolut Vodka, Lucky Strike cigarettes, and Coca-Cola. In 1987 he had his own exhibitions in Helsinki and Antwerp, among others. He also designed the cover for the benefit album A Very Special Christmas, on which Madonna was included. In 1988 he joined a select group of artists whose work has appeared on the label of Chateau Mouton Rothschild wine.
Haring also created a public mural in the ambulatory care department of Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center on Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn.
Keith Haring was openly gay and was a strong advocate of safe sex ; however, in 1988, Haring was diagnosed with AIDS. He established the Keith Haring Foundation in 1989, its mandate being to provide funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children's programs like Kinderstern, and to expand the audience for Haring’s work through exhibitions, publications and the licensing of his images. Haring enlisted his imagery during the last years of his life to speak about his own illness and generate activism and awareness about AIDS.
In June 1989, on the rear wall of the convent of the Church of Sant'Antonio (in Italian: Chiesa di Sant'Antonio abate) in Pisa (Italy), he painted the last public work of his life, the mural "Tuttomondo" (translate: "all-world"), along with 6 animated inserts for Sesame Street (which later aired a year after his death)...
Death and legacyHaring died February 16, 1990 of AIDS-related complications.
As a celebration of his life, Madonna declared the first New York date of her Blond Ambition World Tour a benefit concert for Haring's memory, and donated all proceeds from her ticket sales to AIDS charities including AIDS Project Los Angeles and amfAR; the act was documented in her film Truth or Dare. Additionally, Haring's work was featured in several of Red Hot Organization's efforts to raise money for AIDS and AIDS awareness, specifically its first two albums, Red Hot + Blue and Red Hot + Dance, the latter of which used Haring's work on its cover.
He is the subject of a composition, Haring at the Exhibition, written and performed by Italian composer Lorenzo Ferrero in collaboration with DJ Nicola Guiducci. The work combines excerpts from popular chart music of the 1980s with samples of classical music compositions by Lorenzo Ferrero and synthesized sounds. It is featured at "The Keith Haring Show," an exhibition which took place in 2006 at the Triennale di Milano.
May 4, 2008 would have been Haring's 50th birthday. In June 2008 there was a retrospective exhibition containing 200 pieces of his work (from the collection of Sigrid Wecken) open to the public in Terrassa, Spain. Also in 2008, filmmaker Christina Clausen released the documentary The Universe of Keith Haring. In the film, the legacy of Haring is resurrected through colorful archival footage and remembered by friends and admirers such as artists Kenny Scharf and Yoko Ono, gallery owners Jeffrey Deitch and Tony Shafrazi, and the choreographer Bill T. Jones.
Haring's work was featured in Madonna's 2008 Sticky & Sweet Tour during the song "Into the Groove", and also during the U2 song "One" on the PopMart Tour in 1997/1998.
Keith Haring: Double Retrospect is a monster sized jigsaw puzzle by Ravensburger measuring in at 17' x 6' with 32,256 pieces, breaking Guinness Book of World Records for the largest puzzle ever made. The puzzle uses 32 pieces of work from Haring and weighs 42 pounds.
In March 2012, a retrospective exhibit of Haring's work, Exhibitions: Keith Haring: 1978–1982, opened at the Brooklyn Museum in New York.
On 4 May 2012, the 54th birthday of Haring, Google honored him in a Google Doodle.
- Sheff, David (August 10, 1989). "Keith Haring, An Intimate Conversation". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2007-11-14
- Hope, Bradley (December 20, 2007). "A Forgotten Haring Is Found by Contractors". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2007-12-20
- Ellis, Rennie, The New Australian Graffiti, (Sun Books Melbourne, 1985)
- Yarrow, Andrew (1990-02-17). "Keith Haring, Artist, Dies at 31; Career Began in Subway Graffiti". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-25.
- The Keith Haring Show, 2005–2006, Milan
- Lee, Nathan (October 24, 2008). "An Artist With Enthusiasm". New York Times.
- Morgan, Matt (February 11, 2011). "Ravensburger Shatters Record With 32,000+ piece puzzle". Wired.
- "Exhibitions: Keith Haring: 1978–1982", Brooklyn Museum, New York, March 16–July 8, 2012
- "Keith Haring on Google's logo", iploiesti.ro
Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Haring [04.04.12]