Keith Haring and Andy Warhol’s Friendship

 

Warhol became a friend and mentor to Haring in New York in the 1980’s, not long after Haring’s hugely successful solo show in 1982. Haring was influenced and inspired by Andy Warhol's unique fusion of art and life. They became very close and would hang out with Yoko Ono, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Madonna and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Keith Haring

Keith Haring was born in Pennsylvania USA in 1958 and developed his love of drawing and cartooning in the thriving art community of New York City while studying at the School of Visual Arts.  Haring was swept up in the energy and spirit of the New York scene with its downtown streets and subways and graffiti art. He became determined to devote his career to creating a truly public art. 

Between 1980 and 1985, Haring produced hundreds of public drawings in the New York subway system by creating simple line drawings in white chalk on blank paper matte black panels.  These images became familiar to New York commuters who would stop to engage with the artist on their way to work.  

 

Between 1980 and 1989, Haring achieved international recognition with numerous solo exhibitions and public projects around the world which often carried social messages.  The now famous Crack is Wack mural of 1986 has become a landmark along New York FDR drive. His work remains as relevant today as when it was in the 80’s with his work on display in some of the top museums around the World. There was a recent retrospective of his work 2019 at the TATE Liverpool.  The work of Keith Haring is highly sought after.  The highest achieved price for his work “Untitled” created in 1982, sold for $6,537,500 USD in May 2017 at Sotheby’s NY.

Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988 and in 1989 he established the Keith Haring Foundation. This provided a vehicle for him to not only help to fund AIDS organizations but to speak out about his own illness and generate activism, imagery and awareness. Keith Haring died of AIDS related complications at the age of 31.

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol was born in 1928 in Pittsburgh USA and started honing his talent for drawing as a commercial illustrator. He began to receive recognition as an influential and controversial artist after exhibiting his work in several galleries in the late 1950’s.  

Warhol’s New York studio, The Factory, attracted intellectuals, drag queens, playwrights, Bohemians, Hollywood celebrities and wealthy patrons.  It was at this time that Warhol become a leading figure in the visual art movement known as Pop Art.  His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960’s.  Some of his best known works include the silkscreen paintings “Campbells Soup Cans’ (1962).  

 

Warhol has been the subject of numerous retrospective exhibitions, books and feature and documentary films.  The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to a single artist.  His creations are very collectable and highly valuable.  The highest price achieved for his work is; Silver Car Crash (1963) $ 105,000,000 USD in 2013. Currently at Lyons gallery you can view, Chanel No.5 (1997) A complete set of 4 lithographs.