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Google is celebrating Keith Haring’s 54th birthday today in a big way by presenting a doodle that seeks to encapsulate his work in a positive manner – life is fun and vibrant.
Google.com home page logo has been replaced by by the dancing human figures that hark back to the artist’s roots as a social activist when he was at the front of the movement that sought to capture New York City street culture in the 1980s – social messages through the medium of art was his forte and Google has sought to immortalise the artists by putting him at the front of its most precious page google.com.
Keith Haring died of AIDS-related illnesses in 1990 at the age of 31. The Keith Haring Foundation was established in 1989 to assist AIDS-related and children’s charities,and maintains the largest resource of archives on the late artist.
Haring’s bold lines and active figures carry poignant messages of vitality and unity. His legacy made an impact on late 20th century art and grants us all a vision for the future.
Between 1980 and 1989,Haring achieved international recognition and participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions. He completed numerous public projects in the first half of the 80s as well,ranging from an animation for the Spectacolor billboard in Times Square,designing sets and backdrops for theaters and clubs,developing watch designs for Swatch and an advertising campaign for Absolut vodka; and creating murals worldwide.
In April 1986,Haring opened the Pop Shop,a retail store in Soho selling T-shirts,toys,posters,buttons and magnets bearing his images. The shop received criticism from many in the art world,however Haring remained committed to his desire to make his artwork available to as wide an audience as possible,and received strong support for his project from friends,fans and mentors including Andy Warhol.
Throughout his career,Haring devoted much of his time to public works,which often carried social messages. He produced more than 50 public artworks between 1982 and 1989,in dozens of cities around the world,many of which were created for charities,hospitals,childrens day care centers and orphanages. The now famous Crack is Wack mural of 1986 has become a landmark along New Yorks FDR Drive. Haring also held drawing workshops for children in schools and museums in New York,Amsterdam,London,Tokyo and Bordeaux,and produced imagery for many literacy programs and other public service campaigns.
Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988. In 1989,he established the Keith Haring Foundation,its mandate being to provide funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and childrens programs,and to expand the audience for Harings work through exhibitions,publications and the licensing of his images. Haring enlisted his imagery during the last years of his life to speak about his own illness and generate activism and awareness about AIDS.