Thursday, 1 October 2009

Keith Haring

I was first made aware of Keith Haring when studying for A level art and instantly respected and enjoyed the work he produced. Born in Reading, Pennslyvania and raised in nearby Kutztown he developed an interest in drawing at a young age, learning to draw cartoons from his father and other popular culture that surrounded him. He enrolled in Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh but dropped out after realizing that becoming a commercial graphic artists was not what he wanted to do. He later moved to New York and enrolled in the School of Visual Arts, in New York he was exposed to a thriving art culture outside gallery space, art that was popping up in downtown streets, subways and spaces in Clubs. Haring instantly got involved in the scene organizing exhibitions at the Club 57 and other venues.

Between 1980-85 Haring produced 100s of drawings on the New York subway and his work became very familiar to commuters and tourists alike. Haring's work was devoted to spreading messages, most notably regarding aids, which he himself was diagnosed in '88 and died from in '90. I find his work very influential for various different reasons, firstly I love the illustrative style he used, bold line and colour. Secondly his dedication to deliver a message and the alternative way he went about doing so.

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