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Keith Haring Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

American, 1958-1990

Keith Haring began experimenting with his bold, graphic lines and cartoon-inspired figures on the walls of New York City subway stations in the early 1980s. He called them his “laboratory,” places to develop a radical new aesthetic based on an ideology of creating truly democratic public art.

Haring’s paintings, prints and murals address the universal themes of death, love and sex, as well as contemporary issues he experienced personally, like the crack-cocaine and AIDS epidemics. They derive much of their impact from the powerful contrast between these serious subjects and the joyful, vibrant pictographic language he uses to express them, full of dancing figures, babies, barking dogs, hearts and rhythmic lines, as well as references to pop culture.

To make his art even more accessible, in 1986, Haring opened the Pop Shop in Soho. In a foreshadowing of today’s intermingling of art and fashion, the shop sold merchandise and novelty items featuring imagery by Haring and contemporaries like Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat. While his works sometimes included text, for the most part, he chose to communicate through drawing. 

“Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times,” Haring once declared. “It lives through magic.”

Find Keith Haring art on 1stDibs today.

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Artist: Keith Haring
Original handwritten Letter of thanks, hand signed by Keith Haring on letterhead
By Keith Haring
Located in New York, NY
Keith Haring Original Handwritten, hand signed Letter, ca. 1987 Ink on Haring's Private letterhead Stationery, Hand written and hand signed by Keith...
Category

1980s Pop Art Keith Haring Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Paper, Ink, Permanent Marker

Untitled, 1982 (Cannibal)
By Keith Haring
Located in Greenwich, CT
Untitled, 1982 is a sumi ink on paper, 38.25 x 50" image size, signed and dated verso 'SEPT.21 - 82 + K. Haring' and framed in a custom, gold-leaf frame. Haring’s image of a man-eating monster is partly influenced by the artist Hieronymus Bosch as Haring often cited Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly...
Category

1980s Pop Art Keith Haring Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Paper, Sumi Ink

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Previously Available Items
Keith Haring Radiant Baby Barking Dog drawing 1982 (Keith Haring Tony Shafrazi)
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Keith Haring Radiant Baby, Barking Dog drawing 1982 (Keith Haring Tony Shafrazi Gallery): Unique 1982 Keith Haring drawing featuring two of Haring’s most recognizable & highly collected figures. This work is presented on the interior cover of the artist’s seminal, limited edition 1982 Tony Shafrazi gallery catalog featuring a standout neon Keith Haring Three Eyed Smiling Face cover & lithographic inserts. A historic drawing executed during the artist’s breakout year. Signed, dedicated and dated 1982. Medium: Ink on softcover wire bound exhibition catalog; approximately 140 pages. 1st edition 1982. Dimensions: 9 x 9 inches (folded closed). Drawing: Well-preserved; very good overall vintage condition. 9x9 inches. Book: Light to moderate wear to front & back cover; minor signs of use; surface loss to interior 1st page; small tear/corner loss to bottom of pgs 47-48; tight binding; in otherwise good overall vintage condition. Signed and Inscribed, ‘K. Haring 82, To Shawn’. Catalog published by Tony Shafrazi Gallery New York, 1982 from a limited edition of 2000 (see image 6). Includes a forward by Tony Shafrazi, as well as text by Keith Haring, Jeffrey Deitch, et al, with photos by Tseng Kwong Chi. Related Auction history: Sotheby’s ‘Contemporary Art Paris’ October 2020; lots 501-504. Keith Haring was an American artist and social activist known for his illustrative depictions of figures and symbols. His white chalk drawings could often been found on the blank poster marquees in New York’s public spaces and subways. “I don't think art is propaganda,” he once stated. “It should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it.” Born on May 4, 1958 in Reading, PA, he grew up in neighboring Kutztown, where he was inspired to draw from an early age by Walt Disney cartoons and his father who was an amateur cartoonist. After briefly studying commercial art in Pittsburgh, Haring came across a show of the works of Pierre Alechinksy and decided to pursue a career in fine art instead. He moved to New York in the late 1970s to attend the School of Visual Arts, and soon immersed himself in the city’s graffiti culture. By the mid-1980s, he had befriended fellow artists Andy Warhol, Kenny Scharf, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, and collaborated with celebrities like the singer Grace Jones. Diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1988, Haring’s prodigious career was brief, and he died of AIDS-related complications on February 16, 1990 at the age of 31. Before his death, Haring established the Keith Haring Foundation, a non-profit committed to raising awareness of the illness through art programing and community outreach. Throughout his career, Haring made his art widely available through the location of his murals, as well as through the Pop Shop—Haring's own storefront which he used to sell his memorabilia.The artist’s mural Crack is Wack (1986), can still be seen today on a retaining wall along FDR Drive in Manhattan. Haring’s works can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Related Categories: Keith Haring radiant baby. Keith Haring Three Eyes...
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Untitled (Polaroid)
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No title
No title
H 4.34 in W 4.34 in
Untitled "Art Attacks on AIDS"
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Keith Haring Untitled "Art Attacks on AIDS" Subway Drawing / Chalk on Paper Museum Acid Free Silk Backing, Charcoal Seamless Handmade Wood Frame and Museum Non Glare Plexiglass. Since the very beginning of his career, Keith Haring was always passionate about creating art that was easily accessible to everyone and his New York City subway drawings, murals and street art meant that a much larger and more diverse audience could experience his work, outside of the more insular space of an art gallery. As he traveled the New York City Subway System Keith noticed black matte paper had been used to cover expired adds. He purchased white chalk which he kept in his pocket, and started drawing, this quickly became a daily obsession of his. As the train would enter a station he would look for the black spaces on the subway station walls, exit the train, quickly draw without any planning or any preparation then leave on the next train. As noted by Dr. Amy Raffel: ""His incessant repetition, Haring’s subway drawings allowed him to perfect his highly recognizable reduced linear vocabulary, and to create an inventory of images. Simplification was practical: he needed to complete his drawings as fast as possible to avoid being arrested. He created characters, such as the barking dog and the radiating baby, which he drew on flat planes with no spatial depth, often with only a horizon line or a staircase to suggest space. Drawn close to the surface like cartoons, his images had immediacy and impact, and could carry multiple meanings through various combinations."" Keith is believed to have completed roughly 5,000 chalk subway...
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Keith Haring figurative drawings and watercolors for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Keith Haring figurative drawings and watercolors available for sale on 1stDibs. You can also browse by medium to find art by Keith Haring in ink, paper, pen and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 1980s and is mostly associated with the Pop Art style. Not every interior allows for large Keith Haring figurative drawings and watercolors, so small editions measuring 8 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Larry Rivers, Jules Engel, and Andy Warhol. Keith Haring figurative drawings and watercolors prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $6,000 and tops out at $685,000, while the average work can sell for $37,500.
Questions About Keith Haring Figurative Drawings and Watercolors
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Keith Haring was a modern American artist and activist. He began as a street artist creating graffiti-inspired works throughout New York City’s subway system and would later produce public murals in cities all over the world. Haring’s paintings, prints and murals address the universal themes of death, love and sex, as well as contemporary issues he experienced personally, like the crack-cocaine and AIDS epidemics. In 1986, Haring opened a Pop Shop in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood to sell merchandise bearing his bold, cartoon-inspired designs. On 1stDibs, find a variety of Keith Haring art.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Keith Haring is originally from Kutztown, Pennsylvania, although he was born in the nearby city of Reading, Pennsylvania, on May 4, 1958. In 1978, Haring moved to New York City. He continued to live there until he died on February 16, 1990. Find a selection of Keith Haring art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania. After growing up in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, and briefly attending art school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he moved to New York City, where he made a name for himself creating street art on the subway system. Haring gained an even larger audience in the years that followed, producing public murals that were often commissioned and making art that was frequently informed by political and cultural issues. On 1stDibs, find a selection of Keith Haring art.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Keith Haring drew most of his inspiration from graffiti artists and got his start painting subway stations and other locations around New York City. In addition, artists such as Pierre Alechinsky, William Burroughs, Jean Dubuffet, Brion Gysin and Robert Henri influenced his work. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of Keith Haring art.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Keith Haring is important primarily because his innovative work, which began as street art on the New York City subway, became widely known during the 1980s and influenced other artists working at the time. Haring was also an activist — his late-career prints and murals addressed contemporary issues he experienced personally, like the crack-cocaine and AIDS epidemics. Haring helped elevate graffiti art and was one of the first artists to begin placing his designs on merchandise sold to the general public through his Pop Shop in New York City. Shop a collection of Keith Haring art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    For most of his life, Keith Haring lived in New York City and died there on February 16, 1990. He grew up in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, and briefly attended an art school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After he arrived in New York in 1978, he turned the city into a gallery space, creating murals in public areas like subway stations. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of Keith Haring art.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The Keith Haring Foundation is a philanthropic organization founded by the artist Keith Haring in 1989. Its mission is to provide funding for nonprofit organizations who offer services and programs for children or conduct research or educational initiatives related to AIDS.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 1, 2024
    Some facts about Keith Haring include that he began his career by creating street art in New York subway stations, which he referred to as his "laboratory." In 1986, Haring opened the Pop Shop in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood and began selling merchandise and novelty items featuring imagery by himself and contemporaries like Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Also, the world's largest jigsaw puzzle features Haring's artwork and consists of 32,000 pieces. After his death, his estate formed the Keith Haring Foundation to raise awareness about AIDS and fund research into the autoimmune disease. On 1stDibs, explore a wide range of Keith Haring art.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 25, 2024
    Keith Haring's art was about a variety of subjects. His paintings, prints and murals addressed themes of death, love and sex, as well as contemporary issues, like drug use and the AIDS epidemic. His work derives much of its impact from the powerful contrast between these serious subjects and the joyful, vibrant pictographic language he used to express them. Haring’s enduring work is full of dancing figures, babies, barking dogs, hearts and rhythmic lines, as well as references to pop culture. On 1stDibs, explore a collection of Keith Haring art.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Keith Haring is famous for producing bold cartoon-style art. You may see his work printed on everything from home décor to coffee mugs to fashion accessories. He gained notoriety for street art in his early days as an artist. Later, Haring’s revered paintings, prints and murals would address the universal themes of death, love and sex, as well as contemporary issues he experienced personally, like the crack-cocaine and AIDS epidemics. On 1stDibs, find a collection of Keith Haring art.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    To pronounce Keith Haring, say "Keeth HEH-ring." Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Kutztown, Pennsylvania. You'll find a range of Keith Haring art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    In his early days as an artist, Keith Haring worked primarily in New York City, where he created murals on walls and unused advertising boards along Manhattan’s subway system. Once his work gained popularity, he traveled to produce work in Australia, Europe and elsewhere. You'll find a collection of Keith Haring art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    What Keith Haring's figures mean depends on the lines near them. Curves show that a figure is in motion, while short straight lines represent sound. The figures themselves are usually meant to signify various roles in society. On 1stDibs, shop a selection of Keith Haring art.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Keith Haring became famous largely through people viewing the street art he created in subway stations and other locations in New York City. Throughout the 1980s, he was commissioned to produce art in dozens of cities all over the world and showed his works in solo and group exhibitions. A 1982 show at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in Soho, New York City, earned rave reviews and greatly contributed to his fame. You'll find a selection of Keith Haring art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Keith Haring began to paint and experiment with art as a child. He first began to produce public art in 1981. His early works were chalk or paint applied to unused advertising panels found in New York City subway stations. Find a collection of Keith Haring art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    You can see Keith Haring art at many museums in North America, Europe and Asia. In New York City, some of his pieces hang in the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of the City of New York. Some of his murals remain in the city, as well. A map of all of the existing murals is available on the Keith Haring Foundation's website. Shop a collection of Keith Haring art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Keith Haring painted in New York City subways because he wanted his artwork to be accessible to the general public. He also produced works in other locations throughout the city. You can find a range of Keith Haring art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The type of art that Keith Haring primarily did was drawing. He is most often associated with the Pop art movement. Initially, Haring was inspired by graffiti artists and began experimenting with his bold, graphic lines and cartoon-inspired figures on the walls of New York City subway stations in the early 1980s. After gaining recognition for his innovative street art, Haring was commissioned to create murals in cities all over the world. Shop a range of Keith Haring art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Keith Haring went to school briefly at the Ivy School of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1978, he moved to New York City, where he attended the School of Visual Arts. Other famous alumni from the school include Sarah Sze, James Jean and Joe Sinnott. Find a selection of Keith Haring art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 16, 2024
    Keith Haring used a variety of materials. Over the course of his career, he produced works in markers, chalk, felt-tip pens, ink and acrylic paints. For his murals, he often preferred spray paint. Interestingly, the artist rarely made sketches for even his largest works, preferring to improvise during the creation process. Find a wide range of Keith Haring art on 1stDibs.

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