Keith Haring and his world

The explosive language of a universal genius

There are people who have their destiny written in the creases of their foreheads. Charles Baudelaire said this of Edgar Allan Poe and the same can be said, for better or worse, of those artists who grabbed the world they lived in by the horns, with the smile of one who knows they are doing what’s right. You see it in Andy Warhol's smile, who would radically change the art of his time forever, influencing and inspiring generations to come, and in the sometimes wry but ever-gentle smile of those young artists in the 1980s who did away with any remaining certainty to found their own extraordinary, innovative language.

Those like Keith Haring, one of the 20th century’s greatest artists who, along with his good friend Jean-Michel Basquiat, would remain forever young in the crazy brilliance of New York at that time.

A gifted artist from childhood, Haring taught himself to draw following the comics of Walt Disney and then the works of artists like Jean Dubuffet and Pierre Alechinsky. Later, he discovered Andy Warhol, graffiti and the New York subway, and fell in love with all of it. He embraced his homosexuality and experimented with alcohol and drugs.

Having developed his own style, he started playing with it, testing his radioactive children and psychedelic Disney-like animals on people on the street.

He became famous, brought art out of the museums and the auction houses, fought for gay liberation and finally struggled against the great evil that would take his life at just thirty-one—only two years after his friend Jean-Michel. His world, populated by children, dogs, angels, monsters, televisions and colourful cartoons spoke to everyone of love, joy, sex and social issues. It has invaded walls all around the world and is now celebrated at the Tate Liverpool with the first major retrospective exhibition dedicated to Haring, and can be found in the Skateroom skateboards, ceramic crockery from Ligne Blanche and dedicated books that YOOX offers fans of this irreplaceable artist.