Keith Haring - 4 Pop Shop IV
Keith Haring was an American artist and social activist responding to New York City’s street culture of the 1980s. His work is about birth, death, sex and war – very fitting for the period in which he lived and worked. Keith Haring was openly gay at a time when most non-heterosexuals kept their sexual proclivities behind closed doors. Part of Haring’s importance as an artist was how his art raised awareness of AIDS. Many of his works were featured in the Red Hot Organization’s efforts to raise money for AIDS research and AIDS awareness. Keith Haring himself died of AIDS in 1990 at age 32.
Haring was born and grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania with his parents and three younger sisters. His father, Allen Haring, was a cartoonist who may have been an inspiration for him to pursue his artistic talents and certainly influenced his son’s work.
The artist’s first work that garnered attention was his public art painted in the New York City subways. These renderings were more akin to Pop art than Street Art. Perhaps they could best be described as Pop Art on the street.It was at this time that his work “The Radiant Baby” became symbolic of the artist. This image, with its bold lines, vivid colors, and dynamic pose, expresses profound messages of life and unity.n 1980, Haring organized shows in New York City’s Club 57 and for the first time started drawing animals and human faces. He also pasted provocative collages around the city made from cut up and reassembled headlines from the New York Post.