DescriptionKeith Haring (1958-1990)
Untitled (Light Bulb)
Chalk on black paper
11-1/2 x 14-1/2 inches (29.2 x 36.8 cm)
Private collection, New York.
Keith Haring (1958 - 1990) moved to New York City in 1978. There he blossomed into a full-fledged artist with a bold, singular style for which he is still remembered. During his years in New York, Haring first experimented with drawing in the NYC subway system. Haring saw the urban underground as an ideal environment for creating art for a cross-section of humanity. Appropriating the square advertising kiosks as his canvases, Haring made large, lively works that transcended the typical gallery or museum setting. His cheerful images of UFO's, dogs, mermaids, human figures and other animated characters appeal to all walks of life.
This small light-bulb fragment was first created by Haring directly on the wall of a subway station and was later torn from its location, hence the asymmetrical nature of the work. It is a quintessential subway-style drawing that reflects the way Haring's subway drawings were actually made and how they connect to their audiences as public art.
"I have been drawing since I was four years old. I learned to draw from my father, who would entertain me by inventing cartoon animals. Although he never pursued an artistic career, he encouraged me to continue drawing throughout my school years. Drawing became a way of commanding respect and communicating with people. When I was eighteen, my work, which had been primarily cartoon-oriented, became increasingly abstract and concerned with spontaneous action. I became interested in Eastern Calligraphy and the art of the Gesture. When I moved to New York City at the age of twenty, I started to experiment with drawing on paper that was so large that I had to stand inside the drawing. Although my work was still "Abstract" at this time, I became aware of the vast differences in people's responses to the work. Different people saw different things in the drawings. I remember most clearly an afternoon of drawing in a studio that large doors that opened onto Twenty-second Street. All kinds of people would stop and look at the huge drawing and many were eager to comment on their feelings toward it. This was the first time I realized how many people could enjoy art if they were given the chance. These were not the people I saw in the museums or in the galleries but a cross section of humanity that cut across all boundaries. This group of different people living and working together in harmony has always been my prime attraction to New York."
-Keith Haring (this excerpt is from an essay originally published in Art in Transit: Subway Drawings by Keith Haring, 1984)
Framed Dimensions 17.5 X 20.5 Inches
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