Lesser-known side of Keith Haring
Keith Haring, 1987, Red BMW Z1, Hans Mayer Gallery, Duesseldorf, Germany

Keith Haring - Untitled (Car), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special
Keith HaringUntitled (Car), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special

Keith Haring was born in Reading Pennsylvania on May 4, 1958 and grew up in nearby Kutztown, Pennsylvania. His passion for art began at a young age and following high school graduation he enrolled in the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh for two semesters.

Haring then moved to New York City and enrolled in the School of Visual Arts (SVA). He was inspired by the alternative spaces in New York City and by the work of Jean Dubuffet, Pierre Alechinsky, William Burroughs, Brion Gysin and Robert Henri’s manifesto The Art Spirit.

In the 1980’s, Haring garnered international recognition and participated in several group and solo exhibitions. Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988 and established the Keith Haring Foundation in 1989, with the primary purpose of providing funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children’s programs. He passed away from complications related to AIDS in 1990.

Haring’s work continues to attract attention and receive praise on an international level. He is known for is incredible street art and for his BMQ Z1 and Land Rover Defender works. These painted cars have especially remained popular and admired through their ability to spur the viewer’s imaginations and to allow people to reimagine something that is often seen as mundane.

Haring painted a red BMW Z1 at Hans Mayer Gallery in Düsseldorf in 1987. This vehicle clearly demonstrated Haring’s strong graphic line work and his distinctive range of emblematic signs. As for the Defender, the vehicles were known in WWII in 1947 as the original “Rover”. Haring painted a Defender in his classic graffiti style, the connections of the images create symbolic meaning in the innate examination of” birth, death, sexuality and war.”

Haring’s work is a clear representation of the Sacred and the Profane, bringing together the two elements and creating something both symbolic and breathtaking.

Keith Haring - Untitled (Car), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special, The Political Line at de Young Museum, 2014-2015
Keith HaringUntitled (Car), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special, The Political Line at de Young Museum, 2014-2015

Keith Haring - Untitled (Car), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special, MOCA LA, 2011
Keith HaringUntitled (Car), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special, Art in the Streets at Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, 2011

Keith Haring - Untitled (Car), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special (detail)
Keith HaringUntitled (Car) (detail), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special

Keith Haring - Untitled (Car), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special (detail) 2
Keith HaringUntitled (Car) (detail), 1986, Enamel on 1963 Buick Special

Keith Haring - Haring Defender, 1983, 1971 Land Rover Defender, Petersen Automotive Museum
Keith HaringHaring Defender, 1983, Enamel on 1971 Land Rover Defender, Petersen Automotive Museum

Keith Haring - Haring Defender, 1983, 1971 Land Rover Defender, detail 2
Keith HaringHaring Defender (detail), 1983, Enamel on 1971 Land Rover Defender

Keith Haring - Haring Defender, 1983, 1971 Land Rover Defender, detail 3
Keith HaringHaring Defender (detail), 1983, Enamel on 1971 Land Rover Defender

Keith Haring - Haring Defender, 1983, 1971 Land Rover Defender, detail 4
Keith HaringHaring Defender (detail), 1983, Enamel on 1971 Land Rover Defender

Keith Haring - Haring Defender, 1983, 1971 Land Rover Defender, detail
Keith HaringHaring Defender (detail), 1983, Enamel on 1971 Land Rover Defender

Keith Haring - Haring Defender, 1983, 1971 Land Rover Defender, Photograph- Courtesy Christian Rossier:Keith Haring Art Foundation
Keith HaringHaring Defender (detail), 1983, Enamel on 1971 Land Rover Defender
Photo: Courtesy Christian Rossier, Keith Haring Art Foundation

Keith Haring, 1987, Red BMW Z1, Hans Mayer Gallery, Duesseldorf, Germany, Photograph- Courtesy Galerie Hans Mayer:Keith Haring Foundation
Keith Haring, 1987, Enamel on Red BMW Z1, Hans Mayer Gallery, Duesseldorf, Germany
Photo: Courtesy Galerie Hans Mayer, Keith Haring Foundation

Keith Haring, 1987, Red BMW Z1, Hans Mayer Gallery, Duesseldorf, Germany
Keith Haring, 1987, Enamel on Red BMW Z1, Hans Mayer Gallery, Duesseldorf, Germany

Keith Haring, 1987, Red BMW Z1, Hans Mayer Gallery, Petersen Automotive Museum
Keith Haring, 1987, Enamel on Red BMW Z1, Petersen Automotive Museum

Keith Haring - 1962 SCAF:Mortarini mini Ferrari 33 P-2, Petersen Automotive Museum
Keith Haring, Enamel on 1962 SCAF/Mortarini mini Ferrari 33 P-2, Petersen Automotive Museum

Keith Haring - 1962 SCAF:Mortarini mini Ferrari 33 P-2, Photograph- Courtesy Elinor Vernhes:Hervé Perdriolle:Keith Haring Foundation
Keith Haring, Enamel on 1962 SCAF/Mortarini mini Ferrari 33 P-2, Photo: Courtesy Elinor Vernhes, Hervé Perdriolle, Keith Haring Foundation

 

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