Keith Haring

Lucy Davisson


Artist Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania. He moved to New York City in 1978 and began using the city as his canvas, making chalk drawings in subway stations. His art was eventually seen everywhere from public murals and nightclubs to galleries and museums around the world.

About Keith Haring

He developed a love for drawing at a very early age, learning basic cartooning skills from his father and from the popular culture around him, such as Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney.

After high school, he went to art school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a year. He started making big drawings, and when he was 19, he had his first public show.

He would use empty black pieces of paper on the subways as places to draw. He would make subway drawings every day. He started to become famous because people riding the subways would see his work.

His paintings and sculptures became very expensive. He wanted everyone to be able to buy his work, so he opened a store called the Pop Shop to sell his art on posters, buttons, T-shirts, and games.

His artwork was seen on TV and in the newspaper and became very popular.

He socialized with other artists and rock musicians like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Kenny Scharf, Madonna, Yoko Ono and Boy George.

His art expressed concepts of birth, death, sexuality, and war.

Over the brief span of his career, he completed more than 50 public works, including the anti-drug mural Crack is Wack in a Harlem playground and an illuminated, animated billboard of his "radiant baby" image for New York's Times Square.

He hosted numerous art workshops for children.

In 1988, He got very sick with a disease called AIDS. At that time, doctors could not help people with AIDS. He knew he was going to die, but he was very brave and kept working as hard as he could until the end. He also made posters to tell people about the sickness and gave money for doctors to search for a cure.