Introducing Keith Haring

April 23, 2021
Introducing Keith Haring

Moving to New York in the same year, he became friends with fellow artists Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat, as well as the musicians, performance artists and graffiti writers that comprised the burgeoning art community. Haring was swept up in the energy and spirit of this scene and began to organize and participate in exhibitions and performances at Club 57 and other alternative venues. Taking on the subjects of his era, still pertinent to this day, AIDS, drugs and the "other",  Haring's unique style brings a vibrancy and energy, almost childlike, to these serious issues. Sadly short-lived, his career and longevity have transcended popular culture into the canon of art. Inherently human, touching with a frantic sense of the "now" his works seem to capture all of human existence in their bold and defiant expression. 

 

About The Stones Series

Created in 1989, the Stones series was one of the last big undertakings by the artist. Produced at a time in his life where his work was becoming more expressive and daring, this epoque witnessed a prolific output as the artist came to terms with his own mortality. Moving from the medium of silkscreen to lithograph, we witness an artist at complete ease with print making with the nuanced textures, shapes and forms typifying his primordial style and energy. Deeply intimate and personal, Haring forgoes the large edition numbers that were present in his early works to produce a smaller edition. Through 1 - 5 we see works that become increasingly more abstract in their monochromatic glory. To begin, figures wrestle and crawl across the space - densely packed and almost rapturous - a cacophony of movement and energy. We move to a face, Picassoesque, that appears shocked and defiant with bold lines and sweeping curves. On to number 3, an interconnected hand with figures reaches up to the heavens with a celebratory, uplifting tone. 4, two distinct stems dominate the image with sprawling proto-human figures intertwined and interacting. On to 5 and we reach the crescendo that the artist so rapidly brings us to, a cryptic design that recalls the ancient markings of Aztec pyramids that ebbs and flows across the space. 

 

Legacy 

Despite a brief career, Haring's legacy has transcended art. An icon of the LGBT community and the urban art scene his instantly recognisable style is cemented in the cannon of street art inspiring generations of artists. What’s more, his career paved the way for urban art to break into the mainstream. Balancing  artistry, political activism, and charity without sacrificing success, he kept a beautiful authenticity in all that he produced. Perhaps the words of his friend and fellow artist sums him up best, “He put together this thinking about how to communicate, how to put on to paper what he was thinking. He had so many ideas that he found a way to communicate. I think most artists find a way to communicate maybe one or two main ideas, but Keith was communicating everything he thought about: money, politics, religion, sex, life, children. He found this way to draw what he was thinking.” Discover more Keith Haring prints for sale.

 

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