Keith Haring (hâr´Ĭng), 1958–90, American artist, b. Kutztown, Pa. He moved to New York City in 1975 and studied at the School of Visual Arts (1978–79). Fascinated with the 1970s graffiti artists, Haring soon joined them in the subways, and his chalked drawings on station advertising boards became underground icons—cheerful, boldly outlined, cartoonlike figures surrounded by kinetic lines suggesting movement or, in the case of his trademark
a kind of holy light. During the 1980s his brand of second-generation pop art, with its exuberantly charming images, reached a broad public as fine art in paintings and prints and commercially on T-shirts, watches, and other products, many of which were sold at his New York Pop Shop. He also created murals, stage sets, and sculpture. When Haring discovered (1988) that he had AIDS he turned much of his artistic attention to educational works about the dangers of the disease.
See biography by J. Gruen (1991); study by E. Sussman et al. (1997).