Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Bridging the gap between the art world and the street, Haring rose to prominence in the early 1980s with his graffiti drawings made in the subways and on the sidewalks of New York City. Combining the appeal of cartoons with the raw energy of Art Brut artists like Jean DuBuffet, Haring developed a distinct pop-graffiti aesthetic centered on fluid, bold outlines against a dense, rhythmic overspread of imagery like that of babies, barking dogs, flying saucers, hearts, and Mickey Mouse. In his subway drawings and murals, Haring explored themes of exploitation, subjugation, drug abuse, and rising fears of nuclear holocaust, which became increasingly apocalyptic after his AIDS diagnosis.
Haring's work is in major private and public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Morgan Library & Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Bass Museum, Miami; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.