Thursday, February 16, 2012

Keith Haring

May 4 1958 - February 16, 1990

Today is the 22nd anniversary of the death of Keith Haring. Even if you do not know much about art, you have seen some of Keith's work. My first encounter was in 1987 with the cover of Run DMC's Christmas in Hollis album cover - even then I knew the image of the radiant mother and baby was powerful. As a child, my father used to drive us down to the Village on the FDR and we would pass the "Crack is Wack" mural. I was in awe of it. I still am. My husband always slows down slightly on the highway so I can see it. I love keeping my eyes open as we walk or drive through NYC because most of the time, we notice a "new" Haring work.

Haring's work and activism put him at the forefront of NYC's street art movement, but also solidified him as an activist - a man who wanted to help fund AIDs research and programs for underprivileged children. During his life, Haring opened the Pop Shop, to make sure that regular people could afford his art - not many artists seem to care about this! Haring died at a young age from AIDs related complications, but his artwork is still as popular as ever and the message is still relevant.

In honor of Keith Haring, go get tested. HIV/AIDs treatments have come such a long way and diagnosis is no longer a death sentence.

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