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Year 1 Arts Week – Keith Haring

Year 1 have begun learning about the artist Keith Haring.

Keith was born on May 4, 1958. He grew up in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, the oldest of four children. He started to draw right away.
“My father made cartoons. Since I was little, I had been doing cartoons, creating characters and stories.”
As Keith grew up, he continued to draw and make art. He saw modern art when he visited museums in Washington, DC.
In 1978, Keith moved to New York City to go to a different art school. He loved being in the big city. There were big museums with all kinds of art. There were many young artists working in his neighborhood. And there was a lot of energy on the street.
In New York he found his style.
Then Keith started seeing empty black pieces of paper on the subways. He knew that this was the perfect place for him to draw. He started making his subway drawings every day.
“When I drew, I drew in the daytime which meant there were always people watching, from little kids to old ladies to art historians.”
Keith started to become famous. All the people riding the subway saw his work, and it was also on TV and in the newspaper. Keith also started showing his work in art galleries, where many people started to buy them.
“I wanted to sell my paintings because it would enable me to quit my job, whether as a cook or delivering house plants or whatever else I was doing–and paint full time.”
In his first show in New York, he painted all the walls with his art, and then put up his paintings and his sculptures. Hundreds of people came to the opening party, and it was a big success.
His paintings and sculptures became very expensive. He wanted everyone to be able to buy his work, so he opened a new store called the Pop Shop to sell his art on posters, buttons, T-shirts, and games.

Year 1 have looked at his pictures below and thought about the shapes, colours and patterns that they can see. They have used the online Keith Haring colouring book to create a simple picture in his style. The colouring book can be found by following the link: http://www.haringkids.com/master_act_stories.htm


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