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Keith Haring

American Painter
1958 - 1990

(b Reading, PA, 4 May 1958; d New York, 16 Feb 1990)

He graduated from Kutztown Area Senior High School in 1976 and spent some time travelling across America before studying at the Art Centre in Pittsburgh.

In 1978 he moved to New York to attend the School of Visual Arts, where his original approach was soon apparent in graffiti-inspired symbols expanded into large-scale designs of generative energy.

At the height of the Punk Rock movement in the late 1970s he participated in the lively New York club scene, working with such street artists as ‘Samo’ (Jean-Michel Basquiat, b 1960). In the summer of 1980 he took up drawing, inventing intricate cartoon-style murals of mutant figures locked in hyper-physical engagement.

He was a meteoric star in American art during the 1980s, exhibiting and working on projects throughout the USA, Europe and Asia, and his work became a symbol of the tribal undercurrents that permeate metropolitan life. His accessible imagery stems as much from Islamic and Japanese art as the sign language of contemporary culture.

In 1986 the artist opened his own retail outlet, The Pop Shop, in New York and was continuously engaged in projects of an extraordinarily diverse nature, from murals on the Berlin Wall to paintings on hot air balloons, motor cars and decorative accessories. A giant ‘spectacolour’ billboard broadcast his famous Radiant Child image in Times Square, first in 1982. He fell victim to the AIDS epidemic in 1988 and died at the age of 31.

L. Castelli: Beyond the Canvas (New York, 1985)
H. Fox: Avant-garde in the Eighties (Los Angeles, 1987)
J. Gruen: Keith Haring (London, 1991)

• Began drawing on blank advertising panels in New York City subway stations
• Spectacolor Billboard, Times Square, New York
• Printed and distributed 20,000 free posters for June 12 anti-nuclear rally, Central Park, New York
• Painted fluorescent mural on cement handball court, Houston Street at Bowery, New York
• Painted murals, Marquette University, Milwaukee
• Painted building in Tokyo, with LA II
• Painted mural on Avenue D, New York
• Painted mural at National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
• Painted mural at Collingwood Technical School, Melbourne
• Painted mural at Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
• Painted candy store murals, Avenue D, New York
• On-site painting, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro
• Painted mural, Children's Village, Dobbs Ferry, New York
• Painted mural for Asphalt Green Park, New York City
• Created mural and distributed free T-shirts and balloons for Keith Haring Day at Children's Village, Dobbs Ferry, New York
• Painted mural on handball court, P.S. 97, New York
• Painted St. Patrick's Daycare Center, San Francisco
• Collaborative billboards with Jenny Holzer for Vienna Festival 86, Austria
• Painted outdoor mural, Amsterdam
• Created mural for Club DV8, San Francisco
• Painted Crack is Wack murals, New York
• Painted permanent murals at Woodhull Hospital, Brooklyn, New York
• Painted mural at Jouets & Cie toy store, Paris
• Painted mural on Berlin Wall
• Collaborated on outdoor mural with schoolchildren in Phoenix, on Washington and Adams Streets
• Painted outdoor mural at Necker Children's Hospital, Paris
• Painted mural at Casino Knokke, Belgium
• Painted mural at Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp
• Painted mural at Team BBDO European Headquarters, Düsseldorf, Germany
• Painted mural at Carmine Street public swimming pool, New York City
• Collaborated on mural with Philadelphia CityKids
• Painted mural at Boys Club of New York, 135 Pitt Street, New York
• Murals and sculpture commission, Schneider Children's Hospital, New Hyde Park, New York
• Artist-in-residence and mural installation, Cranbrook Academy of Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
• Collaborated on two murals with 500 children, Tama City, Japan
• Easter at the White House: painted mural erected on White House lawn, then donated to the Children's Hospital, National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
• Painted mural, Grady Hospital pediatrics emergency room, Atlanta
• Painted Don't Believe the Hype mural, Houston Street at FDR Drive, New York City
• Painted Together We Can Stop AIDS mural in Barrio de Chino, Barcelona
• Designed mural to be executed by students at Wells Community Academy, Chicago
• Artist-in-residence for Chicago public schools and Museum of Contemporary Art mural project: painted mural with 300 high school students, Chicago
• Painted mural at The Center, a lesbian and gay community services center, New York City
• Keith Haring Progetto Italia: a commission by the city of Pisa to paint permanent mural on exterior wall of Church of Santa Antonio

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