Happy birthday to Keith Haring, who would have been 52 years old today. Haring was an American artist who was an influential member of New York’s alternative art community. His work was very influenced by graffiti, and found in public spaces as well as on canvas. In fact, it was his hundreds of white chalk drawings made in the New York City subway system that first brought him to the public’s attention. Haring was committed to making his artwork available to a large audience, and was a strong supporter of children’s programs, which continue to be funded through his foundation. In the spirit of his Radiant Baby, let’s create some chalk drawings.
- sidewalk chalk
- images of Keith Haring’s Art for ideas
Keith Haring’s work was considered graffiti art, with its beginnings in the streets and subways of New York. As it attracted more attention and critical acclaim, it quickly moved beyond this point, and became part of the Pop Art movement. This form of ‘popular art’ focussed on portraying everyday, mass produced objects, thereby removing the elitism often associated with art up until that point. It also adopted rendering techniques and methods of reproduction used in media and advertising. This movement began in England in the 1950’s and arrived in the United States by the 1960’s. Like other artists associated with Pop Art, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney, among others, Haring wanted to make art more accessible.
Key to Haring’s work is his use of simple outlines, rhythmic lines, and strong colour. Keep this in mind when making your chalk drawings, whether you are making up your own images or exploring Haring’s. Have a look at some of his work, and explore his style on a sidewalk or driveway. Don’t forget to take a picture before the rain washes it away.
For further information about Keith Haring, have a look at these sites: