Born May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania, Haring grew up fascinated by the cartoon art of Walt Disney, Charles Schultz, and even Dr. Seuss. Eventually, as a grown man, he moved to New York City to enroll at the School of Visual Arts. It is there Haring found his artistic peers and social niche and became acquainted with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, among others in the underground art scene.
Haring was also a social activist and artist who wasn’t afraid to depict and publicize controversial topics such as war, sexuality, life, and death with his art. Haring used New York City - the walls, stations, and buildings - as his canvas, creating masterpieces for the public.
His work became more valuable, yet he still wanted to keep it all accessible; he wanted anyone and everyone to be able to buy or enjoy his artwork. With this in mind, Haring opened up the ‘Pop Shop’ in New York City in 1986 where he sold products featuring his designs. In addition to this, he hosted many free art workshops for children and created art for hospitals. In 1989, he created the Keith Haring Foundation to raise AIDS awareness and aide research.
Keith Haring died of AIDS-related complications on February 16, 1990, at age 31. His art is still exhibited internationally in institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Tate Liverpool, Guggenheim, New York and many more. Martin Lawrence Galleries are proud owners of select Keith Haring masterpieces.
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