Keith Haring was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1958. His father was an amateur cartoonist and Haring became intrigued with art at an early age. He spent time with his father producing drawings, and listed The Looney Toons and Walt Disney animation cartoons as inspiration.
Haring was involved with the Jesus Movement in his early teenage years, later he spent time hitchhiking across the country before studying commercial art atPittsburgh’s Ivy School of Professional Art, which he left after two semesters. He then moved to New York City, utilizing subways as his artistic “laboratory” which allowed his graffiti art to gain public recognition. In the 80’s, he organized exhibitions for his work and began plastering his art on various mediums in NewYork City, including telephone poles and subway walls.
Haring used his art to convey bold social messages such as his “Crack Is Wack”mural and a piece titled “Rebel With Many Causes” which brought the unspoken epidemic of AIDS in the 80’s to light, reckoning a “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” mentality. Haring was known to produce over 50 artworks as contribution to charities, hospitals, orphanages and day cares. Haring continued to use his work to build awareness for AIDs up until he died of illness due to AIDS related complications in 1990.