Keith Haring’s pop art celebrated in today’s Google Doodle

From The National Post:

Keith Haring — whose iconic cartoons came to define New York’s art scene in the 1980s — got his own Google Doodle today.

Haring was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, May 4, 1958 — 54 years ago today. He died in 1990 from complications due to AIDS. He was 31 years old.

His drawings, with their bold lines and bright colours, were “an expression of the optimistic indulgence of this period,” art historian Natalie E. Phillips wrote, “a representation of the New York club scene as well as homoerotic currents, and a visual tool for the campaign against AIDS.”

As a child in Pennsylvania, Haring took an interest the cartoons of Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney — an influence he carried with him through his career.

When he arrived in New York City in 1978, he began using blank panels in subway stations to create some of the chalk drawings that would make him famous. As he gained prominence, he started producing public works of art around New York, the most iconic of which is the “Crack is Whack” mural on FDR Drive.

“Haring had an unwavering belief in individuality, that no two human beings are alike,” Shepard Fairey wrote in a foreword to Haring’s published journals. “He didn’t want to be categorized as part of an art group or movement, yet he believed we are all part of a whole, and his empathy with humanity was strong and consistent throughout his career.”