Keith Haring (1958-1990) had a short but impressive career. No other artist has left a creative signature on the world like Keith Haring. His iconic imagery adorns the walls of galleries, museums and private collections across the world.
Painting and drawing from an early age Haring was inspired by his cartoonist father; though he abandoned his first formal arts education and shied away from becoming a commercial graphic artist to pursue a life that was part of the thriving alternative sub culture of 80s New York.
Keith Haring, Photo Source: My TFI News
Artists were beginning to work outside of the confines of the gallery, taking their work to the streets, subways and former dance halls. During this time he formed artistic alliances with fellow artists Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat all of whom explored graffiti and developed strong iconography in their work. Scharf continues to work in New York to this day.
Haring’s irreverent style harnessed the feeling of New York at that time and allowed him to tackle delicate issues in a bright, bold, non-confrontational but daring ways, bringing to the forefront of society’s thinking; religion, sex, racism and AIDS.
Haring succumbed to AIDS in 1990, but in his short career he was a game changer in the direction of ‘street’ art. Most notably he opened his Pop Shop which was described in his own words as: “Here’s the philosophy behind the Pop Shop: I wanted to continue the same sort of communication as with the subway drawings. I wanted to attract the same wide range of people and I wanted it to be a place where, yes, not only collectors could come, but also kids from the Bronx … this was still an art statement”.
Keith Haring in the Pop Shop, downtown Manhattan, 1986, Photo Source: The Keith Haring Foundation
The Pop shop has been recreated numerous times around the world in some of the most highly respected art galleries, and continues to allude that feeling of ‘one and all’.
26 years after his death his signature imagery still feels as relevant today as it did to a generation of young artists and public in 80s New York.
On March 5th, Roseberys London brings Untitled, No 5, Fertility Suite by Keith Haring to auction. The work is a screenprint in colours, from a series of 5 prints, signed by the artist and numbered 81/100. The print is dated 83 in pencil.
View the full catalog for Roseberys Londons Modern & Contemporary Prints, Multiples & Editions here.