Keith Haring Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the American Pop-Artist, Keith Haring.

  • Keith Haring was born in Pennsylvania, USA in 1990.
  • His father was a keen cartoonist and Keith became interested in art at a very young age.
  • Some of his early influences included: Walt Disney cartoons, Dr Seuss, Charles Schultz and the animated characters in The Bugs Bunny Show.
  • When he was a teenager, Keith Haring hitchhiked across America selling T-shirts decorated with his own designs.
  • He was inspired by The Art Spirit – a book by Robert Henri.
  • He worked as a maintenance man at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. this gave him a chance to explore artwork by Jackson Pollock, Mark Tobey and Jean Dubuffet.
  • He was also inspired by the work of Pierre Alechinsky, and this made him think about combining writing and characters to form large images.
  • In 1978 he studied painting at New York’s School of Visual Arts.
  • He enjoyed drawing in chalk on unused advertising boards at subways and stations.
  • He went on to organise exhibitions at Club 57, and his work started to incorporate symbols (including barking dogs, hearts and flying saucers).
  • He created more than 50 public works of art between 1982 and 1989.
  • His work featured as the background for the Philidelphia Live Aid stage, and he collaborated with the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.
  • In 1986 he opened Pop Shop, selling his work to the public at reasonable prices.
  • In 1988 Keith Haring was diagnosed with AIDS, and he died in 1990 at the age of 31.
  • During his life, he formed friendships with many celebrities including: Madonna, Will Smith, Yoko Ono and Grace Jones. He was also very close to Andy Warhol.
  • His work was bold, bright and was heavily influenced by Pop Art and graffiti and street art.

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