“I don't think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination, and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it.”
Keith Haring is considered to be one of the most important members of a group of avant-garde New York-based artists who helped to redefine the borderlines of modern art in the 1980s. Between the late 1970s and 1990s, American pop artist Keith Haring chalked his art across New York's vacant subway billboards, making them accessible to all. Soon he established himself as an art world celebrity and pop culture icon with a distinctive and instantly recognizable style that came to define the decade. He worked as a designer, painter, and sculptor. He considered artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol very close friends. They lived, worked, and partied on the gritty streets of New York in the 1970s and 80s.
Haring's paintings are considered part of the general contemporary art movement, rather than the 'figuration libre' (free figuration) movement. His signature style consisted of the continuous repetition of stylized shapes in bright, vibrant colors and outlined in black on different media. Through his works and his iconic motifs such as the radiant baby and the barking dog, Keith formed a widely recognized visual language.
“Art is for everyone,” he said and matched his critical and commercial success with a mission to make his work as accessible as possible. Much of his work responded to contemporary social and political events and his murals often reflected his position on social issues. He sought to raise awareness of AIDS and fought against the proliferation of illegal drugs. Though he died in 1990 at the age of 31 from complications of AIDS, in many ways Keith Haring is still alive. His art is everywhere - Simple, cheerful, upbeat, instantly recognizable.