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Keith Haring (1958-1990) starting drawing at an early age, influenced by the work of cartoonists in popular culture like Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney. First pursuing a commercial art career, Haring studied at the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh before dropping out and moving to New York City in 1978. He had his first solo show the same year and subsequently enrolled in the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He joined the alternative 1980s artist community of New York City where he befriended Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, musicians, and performance artists. Influenced by his studies at school, the energy and youth of the scene in which he lived, as well as the works of Jean Dubuffet and Brion Gysin, Haring developed a graphic expression in his works emphasizing the line. In 1980, Haring started creating hundreds of works using white chalk to draw on the black advertising panels of New York City's subways - a venue he later referred to as his laboratory for experimenting with simple lines while also evoking social messages. He achieved international success, with over 100 group and solo shows in his lifetime, exhibitions in Kassel, Paris, and Brazil, as well as public works of art for charities in various countries. Haring's recognizable works often deal with universal subjects such as life, death, birth, love, sex, and war, expressed in a direct way.

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