Home / Murals

Murals were a principal way in which Haring expressed his creativity.

David Sheff interviewed Keith Haring for Rolling Stone Magazine on August 10, 1989, and one of the paragraphs show just how involved and busy Haring was, in his quest to spread his art and messages across the world:

His last day in Chicago, Haring paints two walls in Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center. The next morning he will jet off to Iowa to visit an elementary school where he painted a mural five years ago, then he will return to New York to work on a series of etchings and to paint a mural in the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center. In June he travels to Antwerp for the opening of an exhibition of his newest paintings. After that, he’s off to Paris, where he and Soviet painter Eric Bulatov are painting huge canvases that will fly over Paris on opposite sides of a blimp. From there he travels to Pisa to paint a mural on a historic site within the walled city.

Haring's art first came to prominence in the 1970s for his drawings in the New York City Subway, such as this 1982 drawing.

A subway drawing by Keith Haring

But he was not just an artist. He was also an activist.

The cute little Haring figures, which became a symbol of his art, and which are reproduced on licensed works to this day (just look at these H&M clothes), were used as a trademark, but that was not all — they were used to spark conversation and thought about social issues, such as regarding sexuality, environmentalism, capitalism, and more importantly AIDS, which Haring himself suffered and later died from. For example, look at the poster below, which uses his vivid cartoon imagery to make social statements more accessible and memorable.

A poster about safe sex by Keith Haring

Let's go on a journey, exploring some of his famous murals around the world.

Go to interactive map