Two colourful figures, one red, one blue, embrace against a radiant background in a message of love, diversity and acceptance. Whilst Keith Haring’s works were politically challenging, and sometimes violent and disturbing, love and acceptance was always a central component of his message. As a gay man in the 1980s, he directly experienced the impact of people’s social attitudes to homosexuality, and works such this one radiate positivity and hope.
Keith Haring (1958 – 1990) was an American artist, and one of the leading figures of the graffiti art movement which emerged from New York in the 1980s. Haring rose to International acclaim after creating spontaneous chalk drawings on blank advertising spaces in New York subway stations. His work reflected a profound commitment to social justice and activism, raising issues that remain relevant today, including the AIDS crisis, racism, and environmental degradation. He was a champion for public access to art in his lifetime, and established the Keith Haring Foundation in 1989, which provides funding and imagery to charities working with AIDS and youth programmes, and brings his work to a wider audience.