Keith Haring (American)
Born 1958, in Reading, PA — Died 1990, in New York, NY
Lived and worked in New York City and around the World
Keith Haring was one of a lineage of twentieth century artists who brought elements of popular culture, "low art" and non-art elements into the formerly exclusive "high art" spaces of museums and galleries. He drew on the techniques and locales of street-based art such as graffiti and murals, employed bright and artificial colors, and kept imagery accessible in order to grab the eyes and minds of viewers and get them both to enjoy themselves and to engage with important concerns.
Haring's deceptively simple imagery and text provided poignant and cutting cultural commentary on issues including AIDS, drug addiction, illicit love, and apartheid. As both an artist and an activist he established that depicting serious issues could be fun or at least lively when communicated through highly cartoony images and fresh and vivid choices of colors.
The work of Keith Haring can be seen today in the exhibitions and collections of major museums around the world.