Artists, Spotlight

SPOTLIGHT ARTIST: KEITH HARING

May 13, 2014

Hello and good morning everyone. I hope y’all had a nice and great weekend. I’d already had it set to post this month’s artist, but I’ve pushed that for June. This artist and activist, Keith Haring is May’s Spotlight Artist. His birthday was May 4, which means he would’ve been 56.

Crack Is Wack’ by Keith Haring. paintingandframe.com

I’ve seen his work growing up, but I couldn’t place the person responsible. What I like about it was the way Haring created and pieced his work. Not only was it bold and colorful, but they all had a message. That’s what caught my attention. His works expressed the concepts of war, sexuality, birth, death and was part of the New York City street culture of the 1980s.

His interest in drawing stemmed from an early age from his father, who was an amateur cartoonist. He attended the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh to study commercial art, but soon he dropped out, due to his fading interest. He continued to work and study on his own and in 1978 had he had a solo exhibition at the Pittsburgh Arts and Craft center. Soon Haring moved to New York and attended the School of Visual Arts or SVA for short. That’s where his career took a different path. He began exploring with installation, performance, collage, and video.

Keith Haring creating his work on the NYC subway. nakamura-haring.com

Haring’s public attention was in the subways of NYC. He used chalk on blank, advertising  paper panels that hung on the subway walls. He organized exhibitions at Club 57. Between 1982 and 1989, Haring created over more than 50 works, which was recognized internationally . In 1986 he created the ‘Crack Is Wrack’ mural. By 1988 Haring was diagnosed with HIV. A year later he established the Keith Haring Foundation, which still provides funding, with artistic imagery to those infected by AIDS/HIV.

AIDS Poster by Keith Haring. blog.internationalposter.

Unfortunately, Haring passed away in February 1990 due to AIDS related complications. His work is still recognized in museums all over. I think if Haring lived, he would continue not only his colorful works, but the causes he cared most.

Enjoy your Tuesday and be blessed always!