Keith Haring, an American artist and activist, was born on May 4, 1958. Haring died on February 16, 1990, and his works are probably familiar to those who do not know him: the images of the stylized and moving men are famous all over the world. They made it a symbol of the culture and pop art of the eighties. Haring was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and his father was a cartoonist. Between 1976 and 1978 he studied graphic art in Pittsburgh, then when he was 19 he moved to New York to study at the School of Visual Arts. Haring began to show a particular interest in paintings and murals and became known, at least in the city, with his own drawings realized in the subway of New York.
The photos of his work began to circulate and his style, made up of essential characters with thick black outlines and very vivid colors in solid colors, quickly became very recognizable. Beginning in the early 1980s, Haring began to exhibit his designs at Club 57, an East Village nightclub where artists and musicians were found. In the following years, Haring met Andy Warhol, with whom he began an intense friendship that contributed to the success of both and influenced his style. In the mid-eighties, Haring obtained international recognition. He completed and exhibited works in Australia, Brazil, France, Holland, and Germany. In 1985, his drawings were collected in an important exhibition at the Arte Moderna Museum in Bordeaux (France).
He also participated in a TV broadcast of MTV, becoming further known. He also drew on the Berlin Wall a Proprio mural near the Brandenburg Gate, about three years before the fall of the division between the two parts of the city. In SoHo (Lower Manhattan), Haring opened a shop to sell T-shirts, posters and other items with reproductions of his works of art. Copies and imitations printed on objects were sold all over the world. It became almost impossible not to stumble upon one of his works, especially when Swatch decided to entrust him with the design of some of his watch models at low cost. Haring claimed the commercialization of his works, explaining that it was in full continuity with its low-cost primitivities in the New York subway. The idea was to make his designs accessible to everyone in some way. As stated, Haring was a great supporter of safe sex and controversial systems to avoid sexually transmitted diseases. In 1988, doctors discovered HIV and decided to create a foundation to collect money and resources for the association that was responsible for assisting affected people with the HIV virus. In 1989, he gave his last great mural dedicated to universal peace in Pisa entitled “Tuttomondo”. Haring died on February 16th in 1990 for some complications related to AIDS. To remember him, Madonna dedicated the first date of her Blond Ambition World Tour to Haring and donated all proceeds from ticket sales to AIDS charities.