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6 Ways Keith Haring Impacted The Art World

Keith haring


Keith Haring was one of the best artists and activists in the 80s in New York. He is well-known for his iconic motifs, colorful work, and much more. All his work represented the political and social events at the time that changed the world. 

He started drawing in streets, subway stations, and other places to convey his message to the world. That is because he aimed to make art accessible to people from all walks of life. Here are the top six ways Keith Haring canvas impacted the art world. 


1.Accessibility To Art 

We all know how expensive art can be. Some pieces go for millions of dollars and are hung in the most expensive of art galleries. However, Haring had other ideas about his art. 

He could see that his work was becoming expensive and popular within the art scene. However, that meant only people with money and power could have access to his art. That is something he did not want because he had always been a man of the people. 

So, in 1986, he opened his The Pop Shop on Lafayette Street. He used his shop to sell his art at affordable prices so everyone could access it. Many people thought this was commercial and that Haring was a sell-out, but it couldn't be further from the truth. He played his part in making art accessible to everyone.


2.LGBTQ Rights 

Haring was openly gay and chose to represent the struggles of the LGBTQ community through his work. He openly advocated for gay rights and spoke up about these struggles throughout his life. He would go to many public spaces to draw his art so anyone and everyone could see these messages. 

Because Haring was so public about this, many police officers caught him drawing his art on streets and subway stations. They would not let him go and arrested him many times on counts of vandalism. However, this did not deter Haring from doing what he wanted because art was his passion. 

He continued to fight for LGBTQ community rights, among many other things, and this was a bold stance to take during that time. Of course, no one could stop his efforts.



If you have seen Keith Haring dancing man, you know how colorful and joyful his artwork was. However, this was not the only thing that attracted people to his artwork. Haring had a message for the world, and he conveyed it through his artwork. 

He was one of the few artists that used his platform to talk about real issues in the world, such as climate, nuclear war, apartheid, capitalism, aids, and much more. His entire work is a commentary on the society and political events at the time. Unlike other artists, his art was never about himself. 

So, he used the medium he knew best to create awareness about all the issues that surrounded society at the time. His legacy is forged through this, and people remember him because they knew he would speak about everything happening around us.


Keith haring dancing man canvas

4.Community Efforts 

Haring always wanted to make a difference, and he did his best to make it happen. He loved working with children because he enjoyed their sense of humor, lack of prejudice, imagination, and much more. Because of this, he encouraged the youth to collaborate and create their unique artwork. 

In 86, Haring painted a mural with nine hundred young people to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. The artwork was displayed in Battery Park City at the Liberty Tower. Besides that, Haring also collaborated with charities that aimed to help the youth. 

He also painted many murals at various children's hospitals around the world. His paintings are simple, joyful, and he uses lines to express rhythm and movement. The best part is that he always contributed to the community with his art in any way he could. 


5.The Keith Haring Foundation 

By now, we know that Haring used art and his influence to do great work for his community. Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 88, and he used his platform to make other people understand the challenges of living with AIDS. He believed that awareness and education of this disease were necessary, which is why he always spoke up about it. 

A year after being diagnosed with AIDS, Haring set up The Keith Haring Foundation to provide support and funding to AIDS charities, education, and research. It was one of the many steps he took to play his part in helping people around him. Through this foundation, he spread a lot of awareness about the disease and helped many people worldwide. 

That is why he was always a man of the people because he thought about other people before himself. Even his work was never about himself but the issues other people face. 


6.The Death Of Keith Haring 

Unfortunately, Haring passed away when he was young. He died in 1990 because of AIDS complications. At that time, he was only thirty-one years old. 

Even though he passed away, his legacy still lives on. The Keith Haring Foundation is still operational and continues to join the fights and challenges against AIDS in the modern world. Some people bring joy to the world and leave too soon only to leave their legacy behind. 

Haring’s art was colorful and positive, but it always had a profound message behind it. His death was a loss to the art world, but his art and legacy still lives in the hearts of many people worldwide. 


Final Words

That was everything you need to know about Keith Haring, his life, and his impact on the world of art. If you want a piece of his legacy in your home, you can always opt for a Keith Haring canvas. For more beautiful art prints, please feel free to browse through the rest of our website. You will find something perfect for your home. 


You might also like: What is Pop Art ? 10 Masterpieces that define the movement.

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