Who is Keith Haring?

Keith Haring is an American artist born May 4, 1958 in Reading, PA. He developed a love for drawing at an early age inspired by Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney. In 1976, Haring moved to New York City and enrolled in the School of Visual Arts (SVA). Haring devoted much of his time to public works and social messages throughout his career. He produced more than 50 public artworks between 1982-1989. 

Haring has an exhibit at the Broad Museum here in Los Angeles that emphasizes his art from the early to final stages, featuring over 120 pieces of artwork and archival material. The Broad show spans 10 galleries that includes representations from public art projects, public murals, subway drawings, and his love of music. In one space, the backlit gallery is accompanied by a soundtrack of playlists made by Keith Haring himself. The exhibit is composed of several themes of music, politics, sexuality, war, religion, and AIDS figured prominently as his pop and graffiti-like work grew out of the influence of street culture of the 1980s. While some of his imagery is composed of simple flat figures with lines indicating break-dancing and other upbeat activities, others could be considered incredibly dark, with images of blood dripping out of bodies and daggers piercing through hearts including a mix of skeletons. 

Haring’s legacy continues to live on thirty years later and proves this out in his exhibition.  The Broad show takes us back to the street scene and graffiti art of the 1980’s in New York City. The exhibit was super dope, a great experience and will be available to the public at The Broad until October 8.