Keith Haring

(American, 1958-1990)

“Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.”

- Keith Haring


            Keith Haring was born in May of 1958 in Reading, Pennsylvania. He showed his passion for art early in his life, and practiced cartoons from his father and media around him such as Disney and Dr. Seuss. After high school graduation in 1976, Haring attended the Ivy School of Professional Art located in Pittsburgh. This school was for commercial arts, which Haring realized he had little interest in after two semesters and dropped out. He remained in Pittsburgh, and there he held a solo exhibit at the Pittsburgh Arts and Crafts Center.


He relocated to New York City later that same year in 1978 to continue building on his career. He discovered an alternative group of artists in the streets of downtown, subways, and clubs where he befriended artists Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Kenny Scharf. While in New York he also attended the School of Visual Arts where he played with video, collage, and installation, however committing to drawing.


Haring’s desire was always that the public had access to his art and as such he opened his Pop Shop in Soho. Although the store received backlash, the artist was determined to allow his work to be available to people of all incomes. His concept was that those who enjoyed his art in subways would be able to take it home with them. Pop Shop did however receive much support from family, friends, fans, and mentor Andy Warhol.


As his popularity grew, opportunities arose around the world such as Australia and Rio de Janeiro to paint enormous murals in the countries’ public spaces. The artist focused on subjects of life, death, war, and sexuality. These themes gained popularity by the message through them. Haring was invited to paint many murals including part of the Berlin Wall in 1986 before its fall three years later. He also completed the mural on New York’s FDR drive Crack is Wack inspired by a friend battling drug addiction. Haring painted greater than 50 works in dozens of cities worldwide that served for charities, hospitals, and orphanages. He also taught workshops for children in schools and museums. 


            Unfortunately, the artist’s career was brief. Haring contracted AIDS and became a victim of the growing epidemic. One of his notable works is Silence = Death which was created before his passing in 1990; the artist was able to give voice and supply activism to those who were also dying of the disease.


American Fine Art, Inc. is proud to feature the original works and limited editions of Keith Haring. Visit our 12,000 sq. ft. showroom in Scottsdale, AZ or call today. Our website is offered only as a limited place to browse or refresh your memory and is not a reflection of our current inventory. If you need to learn more about collecting, pricing, value or any other art information your International Art Consultant will assist you and give you the one on one attention you deserve.  We hope you find our website helpful and look forward to seeing you in Scottsdale soon.