April 13, 2021
Keith Allen Haring was an American artist whose pop art and graffiti-like work grew out of the New York City street culture of the 1980s. His eye-catching artwork style recognised for his exclusive use of black and white, and typical use of primary colours, the figures he depicts are simplified, and easily distinguishable as his work. Some of his designs formed glyphs that could be read, like an urban, tribal language.
His street art was born from from simple means, drawing chalk outlines of figures, dogs, and other stylized images-on blank black advertising-space backgrounds in Subway tunnels. After public recognition he created larger scale works, such as colourful murals, often addressing political and societal themes, especially homosexuality through his own iconography.
A noteable event in Keith Allen's life was during his second exhibition in New York at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery. Where he displayed the artwork for his exuberant character called 'Andy Mouse' which combined two of his heroes, Andy Warhol and Walt Disney. Andy Warhol saw the artwork and the two discussed their admiration for Walt Disney, which drew them into a mutually beneficial friendship that brought together a series of well-known artists from the era into their close circle. Keith was even photographed by Andy Warhol in a series of intimate Polaroids. Their friendship was later coined by some as 'Intersecting Icons'.
He used his much-adored artwork to speak his mind about racism, gay rights and other political subjects. From symbols to social practice, Haring's influence reverberates throughout the contemporary art landscape in new and unexpected ways. His embrace of humour, dance and nightlife, issues relating to health and wellness (Specifically the AIDS epidemic), his artistic approach, social and political activism and the inspiration he drew is still felt today. Haring has left an impact on the pop art culture world, and still continues to express himself through the messages in his artwork.
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