Monday, October 6, 2014



Andy Warhol and Basquiat

Madonna and Basquiat

Andy Warhol and Keith Haring
Haring -Mouse for Warhol

Keith Haring (May 4, 1958-February 16, 1990) American artist and social activist whose work was part of the New York street culture of the l980's.  His work expressed the ideas of birth, death, sexuality and war.  He was around during the crack epidemic and the rise of AIDS.  

He was born in Pennsylvania and raised by his mother Joane and father Allen Haring, an engineer and amateur cartoonist. He was interested in art at an early age and studied commercial art from l976 to l978 at Pittsburgh's Ivy School of Professional Art.  He lost interest in commercial art and moved to New York to study painting.  He was behind in credits during his junior/senior year. His professors could not give him credit for his loose style and political themes.

His attention with the public began when he started painting on the subway walls.  (l980). The "Radiant Baby" became his symbol.  His theme of life and unity was combined with bold and bright colors.  He also pasted photocopies of provocative collages throughout the city. 

He was friends with other emerging artists of the time like Jean Michel Basquiat and Madonna. He was also friends with Andy Warhol who helped him to become successful. 

His "Radiant Baby" along with other of him iconographic images have been used for the AIDS campaign.  Haring died of AIDS in l990.

His work continues to impress art collectors for its simplicity, graphic imagery and direct messages for family, economy, the disenfranchised. Additionally, one of Haring's desire to bring art to the public has come true.

1. "Radiant Child" has been used as a symbol for the AIDS campaign along with Haring's concern to make the public aware of the AIDS epidemic that began in the early 80's.  What are some of the reasons why you think this image has been part of the AIDS campaign?( hint: what does "Radiating" imply? "a baby" ?)

2."Crack is Wack" l986 was a painting that was designed to be seen by the FDR freeway. How does this painting stress an "urgent cry" of awareness to the public? Breakdown some of the images to describe the urgent need to act by the public.( money $, skeleton, crowds, pipe, color...)

3. Why do you think that many of Haring's figures are faceless and asexual? Or are they asexual?

4. What are the similarities of Basquiat and Haring's work?  How are their messages similiar and how do they differ?


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