posted 17th January 2022
Keith Haring is an American artist from Pennsylvania. From a young age, he was largely inspired by illustrations of Walt Disney and Dr Seuss then, as a teen, the writings of William S. Burroughs. Haring was propelled to success with the assistance of powerful figures like Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Madonna.
Publicly gay, Haring's work was influenced by the AIDS epidemic and the underground street culture in New York City during the 1980s, with death, sexuality and war being a focal point. He died at age 31 of AIDS-related complications and since then, he has left his legacy for us all to admire. Other emerging artists at the time such as Kenny Scharf shared Haring's interest in the colourful graffiti art of the subways and streets. Haring took the opportunity to use public areas to share both artistic and political messages to a wider audience.
He granted street art credibility taking it to fine art galleries and museums inspiring new generations of street-to-gallery artists. In 2016, one piece named "The Last Rainforest" sold for a mind blowing £4,181,000.