It was while riding the NYC subway train when it finally hit him, Keith Haring was suddenly surrounded by a metropolis of canvas. The underground subways quickly became Haring’s platform to becoming one of NYC’s prominent street artists.
Racing to every subway stop from Brooklyn to Harlem on his way to the School of Visual Arts, it was not long until he became a public spectacle to watch. He was tagging as many subterranean walls as he possibly could with his spontaneous chalk drawings side by side advertisements, often with cryptic political implications.
Keith Haring took the underground scene by storm as his genius lied on constant reinvention. His subway works such as, Oh! Calcutta, were often produced in front of a live audience of commuters. He thrived on the fact that his works disappeared, shaping his tribal energy with a style that is spontaneous and real, allowing him to immediately communicate to so many generations and across so many cultural boundaries.
Haring‘s exhibitions soon joined the radical art counter culture inside downtown nightclubs, alternatives as he befriended fellow emerging artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, who shared his interest in the colorful and transgressive graffiti art of the city’s streets.
Keith Haring continues to inspire and influence the growth of creative minds of succeeding generations such as artists—from merchandise-savvy Takashi Murakami to street artists such as FAILE, Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and Swoon, among many others.