Icons in Focus: Keith Haring the Painter, Artist and Social Activist


A life lived for art is never wasted. Simply put, Keith Haring’s colorful life was characterized by the art he helped create. His iconic style and voice are immortalized in paint and canvass.

Keith Haring was a prolific painter and art enthusiast. His works revolving around concepts if life, death, war, peace and birth are what made him an icon in the art industry. Haring’s installations and murals continue to inspire people all around the world. He made New York his playground for social activism, making it a canvass and using different media to portray his ideas.

Photos via City Room NY Times blog, NYC Loves NYC blog, Artchive, The Keith Haring Foundation

The young Keith Haring was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1958 to parents Joan and Allen Haring. Keith had three younger sisters and started appreciating art at an early age. Ifluenced by his cartoonist father, Keith Haring grew fonder of art and drawing and it started his base in what would be a decorated and widely celebrated career. After losing interest in commercial art during his earlier studies, he moved to New York and found an entirely different environment that he knew would cater to his artistic needs. He graduated from Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts with a major in Painting.

Photos via Noo 89 blog, The Red List, Coca Cola Art, Svarta

The highly-energized young artist had the whole world as an audience. He used whatever material he had with him to create art wherever he went. Haring used his signature bold lines to create street art as well as a means to perform for his audience. The bespectacled artist used spray cans and chalk to conjure images of what would appear to be simple stick drawings into art installations, murals advocating life, subway scribbles that seemed to just flow with the energy that only Haring possessed at the time. His artworks were also featured on living human canvasses that celebrated the human body as a medium for art.

Haring’s influence on the then burgeoning art scene blew wind to the growing fire that lit up the community with such great talent. He kept close relations with fellow artists and considered avant gardes in the art community like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol.

The young artist’s paint splattered uniform was hanged early after dying of AIDS related complications in February of 1990. He was 31. His positive perspective on life and all things in between live on through his bigger-than-life works and legacy.

All information used for this article were sourced from The Keith Haring Foundation, Wikipedia.

Related posts:
Keith Haring, enjoying his handiwork on one of his human canvasses
Keith Haring: 1978 –1982 at Brooklyn Museum

written by cheeo on 2013-10-17 #art #lifestyle #graffiti #painting #mural #keith-haring #icons-in-focus

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