Keith Haring

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Original painting by Keith Haring (1989)

Keith Haring’s work expresses concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war. Often heavily political, Haring’s work became a widely recognized visual language of the 20th century. He first received public attention with his public subway art in the late 70’s.

When asked about the commercialism of his work, Haring said: “I could earn more money if I just painted a few things and jacked up the price. My work is an extension of what I was doing in the subway stations, breaking down the barriers between high and low art.”

Haring was openly gay and was a strong advocate for safe sex; however, in 1988, he was diagnosed with AIDS. He was one of the first to present homosexuality in a politically progressive way and enlisted his imagery to speak about his own illness and generate activism and awareness about AIDS. His work gave those living with AIDS more visibility when many were suffering in absolute silence.

In some ways Haring found his impending death liberating. It pushed him to produce more work as quickly as possible. In a 1989 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Haring stated, “That’s the point that I am at now, not knowing where it stops but knowing how important it is to do it now.”

Parts Used: Chain, Brake Bolts, Spacers

  • Date: June 22, 2014
  • Filed under: Fine Art