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About the WorkFor Haring "Pop" did not mean simply catering to the tastes of the masses; it meant working with the symbols, colors and idols of the masses. His silk-screen illustrations for William S. Burroughs' "Apocalypse" of 1988 contain traces of the scourges which keep the world in a state of anxiety in calamitous synoptic and, at the time, "gaudy" presentation. In these illustrations there are suggestions of blazing fires and explosions, volcano eruptions and nuclear threats, wars and AIDS. The mutilated master pieces of art history form the foils for Haring's symbolism of doom. In one of the statements which John Gruen collected in his Keith Haring biography of 1992, Burroughs is quoted as having said, "When I saw his silk screens for the first time, it was a shock - but a good shock." - Werner Jehle, Keith Haring Editions on Paper 1982 - 1990 (Cantz)
About the Artist
Keith Haring was 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 eye. His signature cartoon style combined his outspoken political and social activism place Haring amongst the legends in the art world. Born May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania, Haring grew up fascinated by the cartoon art of Walt Disney, Charles Schultz, and even Dr. Seuss. Haring’s father also drew cartoons as a hobby in his free time, inspiring a young Haring to perhaps make his own one day. 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 other individuals in the underground art scene.