Over Keith Haring

About Keith Haring

Foto: Anne Jannes

Keith Haring was born on 4 May 1958 in Reading, Pennsylvania and grew up in nearby Kutztown. In 1978, Haring moved to New York to study at the School of Visual Arts.

Haring drew and painted, and also experimented extensively with performance and video art. During his studies, his life as an artist really gained momentum. Haring was a striking, energetic figure in the vibrant, artistic counterculture of New York's East Village in the early 1980s.

Haring wanted to make art accessible to everyone and therefore he preferred to paint in public spaces. While studying at the School of Visual Arts he came into contact with graffiti and street art. During his lifetime he would eventually create more than fifty murals.

He became friends with other young artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf. Haring took part in numerous exhibitions and events in clubs such as The Mudd Club and Club 57 where visual art, performance, music and fashion came together in an informal and dynamic way. 1982 was an important year in Haring's career. His first solo exhibition at the renowned Tony Shafrazi Gallery in Soho received excellent reviews, and he participated in Documenta 7 in Kassel. Until 1989, Haring would take part in many international solo and group exhibitions.

On 16 February 1990, Keith Haring died of AIDS at the age of 31. Shortly before his death he founded the Keith Haring Foundation, which manages his archive and heritage and finances projects relating to education and the fight against AIDS.