10 things to know about… Keith Harring

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Artsper team regularly looks over all works of art of one artist and chooses 10 of them that the team absolutely wants to keep. Even though it is a completely subjective retrospective, this is the occasion for you to discover again the genius of the artist. This week, Keith Harring.
 

Keith-Haring

American artist born at Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1956.

He made himself known in the early 80s by drawing in the New York subway with a piece of white chalk.

The Radiant Baby was one of the symbols most used by Harring in his work. The Harring designer label was the infinite repetition of black underlined synthetic shapes with bright colors, lighting on different supports.

Inspired by Burroughs’ cut-up, Harring began his work in the street by cutting New York Post titles and redispatching them, which ended in totally absurd titles like “Pope Killed for freed hostage” or ” Reagan slain by hero cop”.

Keith Harring became friend with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf at Club 57 and organized his first performances and exhibitions.

Among Keith Harring’s works that absolutely have to be known:  “Crack is Wack” & Les dix commandements”

His first museum exhibition took place in France, at the Bordeaux CAPC.

Tony Shafrazi, owner of New York Shafrazi Art Gallery, noticed him at that time and represented him until his death. Tony Shafrazi also represented Francis Bacon or David LaChapelle.

Keith Harring wanted to make his art as most accessible as possible and opened in Soho his “Pop Shop”, selling items and posters. Highly disputed in the art environment but supported by Warhol, Harring declared: “I could earn more money if I just painted a few things and jacked up the price. My shop is an extension of what I was doing in the subway stations, breaking down the barriers between high and low art.”

Keith Harring created the the fresco of the Hôspital Necker.

He died of HIV in 1990. 

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