If he was alive this american artist would be 52 years old. Keith Haring was born on this day, in 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. 31-year-old Haring died on February 16, 1990, of AIDS-related complications.
Haring was raised by his mother Joan Haring, and father Allen Haring, an engineer and amateur cartoonist. He had three younger sisters, Kay, Karen and Kristen. Haring became interested in art at a very early age spending time with his father producing creative drawings. His early influences included Walt Disney cartoons, Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz, and the Looney Tunes characters in The Bugs Bunny Show. He studied commercial art from 1976 to 1978 at Pittsburgh’s Ivy School of Professional Art but lost interest in it. Haring made this decision having read Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit (1923) which inspired him to concentrate on his own art.
During the 80s he became one of the most popular artists of the time with exhibits in Japan, Brazil, and many other countries. Haring collaborated with other artists and performers, including Andy Warhol and William Burroughs.
In 1988, Haring discovered that he had AIDS. The next year he created the The Keith Haring Foundation to support AIDS organizations and children’s programs.
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