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Behind The Art and Dancing Figures of Keith Haring

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

Detail from We Are The Youth, Keith Haring’s mural at 22nd and Ellsworth Streets, Philadelphia, Photo By: Casey Gaddy



Keith Haring was an American artist born on May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania. He is known for his unique style of street art, which incorporated bright colors, bold lines, and simple shapes. Haring's work often focused on social and political issues such as AIDS awareness, racism, and capitalism.


Haring began his career as a street artist in the 1980s, creating murals and graffiti in public spaces around New York City. His work quickly gained popularity and he became a prominent figure in the city's art scene. Haring's art was characterized by its accessibility and he believed that art should be available to everyone, regardless of their social or economic status.


In addition to his street art, Haring also created paintings, sculptures, and other forms of artwork. He was known for his collaborations with other artists, musicians, and fashion designers, including Madonna, Grace Jones, and Vivienne Westwood.


Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988 and died on February 16, 1990, at the age of 31. Despite his short career, Haring left a lasting impact on the art world and his work continues to be celebrated and exhibited around the world. Haring was a renowned artist known for his graffiti-style art that often conveyed social and political messages. His art was a reflection of his activism, and he believed that art could be used as a tool to communicate and inspire people.


The mural on Ellsworth Street in Philadelphia is one of the many works that Haring created during his lifetime. The mural was completed in 1987, and it depicts a series of colorful figures dancing and playing. The mural is a representation of the joy and energy of the community. The mural is not just a work of art, but it is also a symbol of hope and inspiration for the community. It serves as a reminder that art can bring people together and promote positivity.


The mural on Ellsworth Street has become a landmark in Philadelphia, and it has helped to create a sense of pride and identity for the community. It has also played a vital role in the revitalization of the area and has helped to attract new businesses and visitors to the neighborhood. The mural is a testament to the power of art and its ability to transcend language, culture, and socioeconomic barriers. It has become a source of inspiration for artists and activists around the world and continues to be a symbol of hope and resilience for the community.


Keith Haring's mural on Ellsworth Street is a significant work of art that has helped to create a sense of community and pride in Philadelphia. It serves as a reminder that art has the power to inspire, unite, and promote positivity, and it will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come.

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