"I don't think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it.”
- Keith Haring
The general public and art world at large were first introduced to Keith Haring’s work via the walls of New York City subway stations and city buildings throughout the early 1980’s. The artist would paint his highly recognizable figures in prominent public spaces across the city and in so doing define a generation of street and pop artists from that moment through today. Haring broke many barriers of the closed art world system, both through his public painting and the opening of his acclaimed Pop Shop which sold accessories and other merchandise based upon his work. This democratization of his work helped to propel Haring to the forefront of both popular culture and the critical art world, and his work now hangs in important private and museum collections worldwide.
Haring cites another Narrative Gallery artist, Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) with inspiring his accessible, pop driven icons and the notion that an artist could integrate into the culture in many different ways. Others in Haring’s immediate circle, artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, sought-out many of the same ideas in their own work. Narrative artist Tom Everhart spent his early career with many of these same artists and in fact traveled west to his future LA home as Basquiat’s assistant.