Saturday, February 16, 2008

I Miss Keith Haring

Eighteen years ago today Keith Haring died from AIDS-related causes at the age of 31. This May 4 would have been his 50th birthday.

Seeing a piece of Haring's artwork will immediately remind you of how the 1980s looked and felt (if you were around to experience them). You'll also be impressed by how vibrant and timeless his work continues to be more than twenty years later. This ability -- to be identified with a specific time and yet also transcend it -- marks Haring as one of the late-20th century's great artists.

In his brief career Haring created hundreds of images on vinyl, paper, canvas and walls throughout New York City, America and the world. His output was both prolific and rapid, and Haring is reported to capable of painting an entire mural in one day. It's almost as if Haring knew his time to make his mark was limited, and he set out to make the most of it.

While most remember Haring for his happy, brightly colored images -- and there were a lot of them -- many of his lesser-known works are darker and more sexual in nature, especially those created around 1988, when he learned he was HIV-positive. You can check out a large catalog of Haring's work and pick up screen screensavers at the Keith Haring Foundation site.

Thanks, Keith.

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