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Keith Haring

by Keith Haring, 1958-1990

Keith Haring was an American artist known for his playful, cartoon-like images that evoked much heavier themes of sexuality, AIDS, birth, death, and war. Haring became popular in his early twenties in 1980, with both graffiti and gallery exhibitions. In 1983, he and friend Juan Dubose painted the Houston Bowery Mural with Haring’s iconic images, which made him an even bigger name in the art world. His group of friends included Jean-Michel Basquiat, Madonna, and the group around Andy Warhol.

Haring died in 1990 of AIDS-related complications. Even at a time when little was known about the disease, he was never shy about his diagnosis, speaking openly about safe sex and establishing the Keith Haring Foundation a year before his death in order to handle the licensing of his art and also provide funding to AIDS organizations and children’s programs. Today Haring’s works can be seen all over the world. Here in New York, we have a mural at the Tony DePolito swimming pool in the West Village, the infamous “Crack Is Wack” mural in Harlem and his altarpiece “Life of Christ” at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.


1978 Haring moves to New York and enrolls at the School of Visual Arts
1988 Haring diagnosed with AIDS
1989 Keith Haring Foundation established
1990 Haring passes away from AIDS-related complications

Reference Links

link Keith Haring Foundation
internal Keith Haring - Wiki
internal Red List
internal gDoc