When I think about artists whose work has influenced me, has inspired me, my mind often drifts to Keith Haring. Although I truly didn’t embrace learning of the graphic arts until I was much older, it was his work that kept me doodling all throughout my childhood.
I recall the first time I saw some of his work, which shown on Sesame Street. I remember being enamored with the simple shapes and lines that I saw on-screen and thought to myself, “Hey, I can do something like that”. Growing up, I didn’t really learn of the significance of his work or the meaning behind it until I was in the 8th grade. My art elective teacher had shown us a book with several pieces of his work within it. It was then that she explained a bit about what inspired him and how the work that we see now came to be.
While Haring’s work was provocative, exploring subjects such as sexuality, politics, and life, it was his later work that dealt with life and death that truly captivated me. Having been diagnosed with AIDS himself, Haring felt the surge, the need to produce as much work as he could before his passing. Even though he no longer is with us, his work, just as he most likely wished, lives on for ages to come.