My first introduction to Keith Haring's art was through Sesame Street, as I was a kid of the 80s. While flipping through a book about his work recently, I was totally shocked to see that a lot of his imagery involved very sexual themes, and totally explicit illustrations. It was then that I decided to research Haring a little more, and realized there was way more to this artist than his images for children.
Playing a fundamental role in the 80s street art scene, he adorned the streets of NYC with his friends Futura 2000, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Kenny Scharf. He's painted murals all over the world, designed for Madonna, and body-painted supermodel Grace Jones. In the late 80s, his work moved into more sociopolitical themes, like the famous "Crack is Wack" mural in Harlem painted in 1986, which has been preserved and still exists today (see below). He also created works around the issues of Apartheid and AIDS awareness. Sadly, Haring died of AIDS related complications in 1990. Now his legacy lives on in the Brooklyn Museum exhibit, opening today.
where Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway Brooklyn, NY
when March 16 - July 8 2012