Friday, May 4, 2012

Keith Haring... Happy Birthday! "Tag you're it"

Today would have been graffiti artist Keith Harings 58th. birthday.  That, had AIDS not taken him away from us at the age of 31.  Following his diagnosis, Haring provided funds to children's art programs and various AIDS organizations.

His work represented the city around him.   Illustrated with generally solid abstract backgrounds with thick broad black strokes.  It was easily identifiable.  I remember walking around the city seeing, little sketches of his. You just knew he'd been there.  It became an iconic signature. The phenomenon grew quickly.  His work became beloved throughout the city, though not immediately approved of when he began.  It was seen as being more of a nuisance than art.  When it started selling to Upper East Side mavens, things changed for him.  

Later his work was collected by iconic faces like Madonna, Grace Jones, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat who all basically 'hooked him up'.

Along the East river Drive in Harlem, remains a paddleball court he 'tagged' years ago.  It has become a NYC landmark, protected by the city with fence around it for all to enjoy. I smile whenever I see it, and say a little prayer for him.  

I am going to wear my Keith Haring T-shirt today in his memory and as a THANK YOU for making the world a brighter place!