Keith Haring, The Red Room, 1988

Keith Haring, The Red Room, 1988, The Broad, Los Angeles, California
Keith Haring, born on May 4th, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania! Haring’s work, usually highly political and sexual, has been highly regarded as the jumping point for most of modern street art and graffiti, with the artist’s intention of taking the works of those who are not formally art educated from the streets and into the upscale and elitist museums and galleries. Haring began his career by painting on the subways and public spaces, as such social canvases allowed for his work to be seen by the people and mass audience. As a gay man, Haring was an HIV/AIDS activist, working to help those affected with the disease be heard and not feel so isolated, as many at the time were living through a difficult time in silence and fear. At this time, Haring’s work began to reflect the homophobia that was beginning to form around AIDS, and the consequent fear of sex and sexuality. As the heated debate around the disease as being widely associated with homosexuality, specifically male homosexuality, raged on, Haring’s work began to reflect an almost fear of death by physical love, or deathly threat to sexuality itself. In 1988 Haring was diagnosed with AIDS, a diagnosis which sparked an incredibly productive period for Keith, until his death in 1990. During this time, his art became more colorful and luminescent, celebrating more birth and life, with a sense of liberation and freedom illuminating from within the work. Before his death, in 1989, the artist established the Keith Haring Foundation to aid AIDS organizations with funding and resources in order to seek prevention and elimination of this deadly disease which took so many of Haring’s friends’ lives, as well as his own. Pictured here is Keith Haring, Red Room, 1988, at the Broad, Los Angeles, California

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