Keith Haring would have been 54-years-old today. He died of an AIDS-related illness at the height of the HIV epidemic on Feb. 16, 1990. He was known for his pop-art drawings and illustrations, influenced by Andy Warhol.
Born in Reading, Penn. and raised in nearby Kutztown, Haring began drawing at an early age and learned basic cartooning skills from his father. After graduating high school he studied art in Pittsburg and New York, taking an interest in performance art, video installation and collage.
Haring had his first solo exhibition in New York in 1981. He gained international recognition and participated in numerous exhibitions between 1980 and 1989.
He championed public art producing over 50 murals in the 1980s. He began the Keith Haring foundation the year before his death and a year after he was diagnosed with HIV. The foundation, still in operation, focuses on AIDS-related and children’s charities.
Happy birthday Keith. We miss you.