He painted on paper, canvas, walls, buildings, objects, Grace Jones, even on himself. His iconic active figures have been transformed into sculptures located around the globe. Haring, openly and proudly gay, was an activist and a very political painter. His subject matter often covered topics such as anti-apartheid, greed and consumerism, the darkness of and harm caused by organized religion, sexuality, and ultimately, AIDS. Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988.
He died on February 16, 1990 at the too-young age of 31.
His art and legacy live on. The Keith Haring Foundation is still in operation. According to their mission statement, "The Keith Haring Foundation makes grants to not-for-profit groups that engage in charitable and educational activities. In accordance with Keith’s wishes, the Foundation concentrates its giving in two areas: The support of organizations which provide educational opportunities to underprivileged children and the support of organizations which engage in education, prevention and care with respect to AIDS and HIV infection."
Thanks for the art, and for making the world a little better.
Happy birthday, Keith.