He moved to NYC in 1980, to be at the center of both the art world & the gay community. He began to create his own graffiti of ambiguous looking animals & a human figure on all 4s, in the city's subways. Haring was employed as an assistant to gallery owner Tony Shafrazi, who gave him his first major exhibition in 1982.
During the mid-1980s, Haring's work brought him wealth & celebrity. His fans included Yoko Ono, Dennis Hopper, & even Andy Warhol himself. Madonna, explains that his art had such a vast appeal because "there was a lot of innocence & a joy that was coupled with a brutal awareness of the world."
Haring was among the generation of gay men lost in the first wave of the AIDS epidemic. He was diagnosed in late 1988, but continued his art until the very end, when he could no longer hold a pencil or brush. Haring's bold lines & figures carry poignant messages of vitality & unity. His legacy made an impact on late 20th century art.
Until his death Keith Haring was devoted to creating cultural awareness about the disease & other gay rights issues. The Keith Haring Foundation was established in 1989 to assist AIDS related & children's charities, & still maintains the archives of his work. Haring generously contributed his talents to art workshops with children, created logos & posters for public service agencies, & produced murals, sculptures, & paintings to benefit health centers & disadvantaged communities. His foundation continues his legacy indefinitely. He leaves me a vision for the future.
The missing Swatch... where is it?
"My contribution to the world is my ability to draw. I will draw as much as I can for as many people as I can for as long as I can. Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man & the world. It lives through magic."