Pride Profile: Keith Haring, Visual Artist

(1958 – 1990)

Whether playful or provocative, socially relevant or sublimely ridiculous, Keith Haring’s distinctive style and vibrantly engaging artwork has made a lasting impact since he first arrived in New York City in 1978 and started doing chalk drawings on subway walls. 

By 1981 he had his first solo gallery show; 1984 saw his first international mural commission in Australia, one of more than fifty around the world; and in 1986 he opened Pop Shop, selling mass produced works further “breaking down the barriers between high and low art.”  Much of Haring’s art reflected his acute social awareness of issues such as sexuality, Apartheid, the crack epidemic, and safe sex.  Diagnosed with HIV in 1988, he set up the Keith Haring Foundation charged with funding HIV/AIDS services, especially for children, and providing imagery for awareness programs and organizations, such as ACTUP. 

Keith Haring was only 31 years old when AIDS claimed the life of this pop art visionary.

“My contribution to the world is my ability to draw. I will draw as much as I can for as many people as I can for as long as I can. Drawing is still the same as it has been since pre-historic times.  It lives through magic.”

  • Keith Haring

Learn More HERE

Tumblr Gallery HERE

If you happen to be visiting New York City for Pride or any other time, stop by the LGBT Center on West 13th Street and see Keith Haring’s mural  covering an entire former bathroom on the second floor.

theOUTfront highly recommends the film “The Universe of Keith Haring”



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