Many legendary artists have thrived in New York City. In fact, some even got their start by creating graffiti in the streets. One of these artists is the legendary Keith Haring. Haring was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1958 and moved to NYC to study painting at the School of Visual Arts in 1978. During the early 1980s, Haring began created graffiti art in the New York City subways and began cultivating some of his signature symbols—such as barking dogs, hearts and flying saucers. He gained initial recognition in 1982 via a contemporary art exhibit in Germany alongside fellow pop artist Andy Warhol. Over the next several years, Haring began exhibiting his work around the world and created murals in dozens of cities. He began collaborating with legends across many different art genres, from model Grace Jones to fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to musician David Bowie.
In 1986, Haring opened his Pop Shop, a store in SoHo that made his art easily accessible and affordable. This was an important message for Haring, as was LGBT acceptance and AIDs awareness. Haring was openly gay and in 1988, he was diagnosed with HIV. He spent the last years of his life raising awareness and activism about AIDs, until passing away from AIDs-related complications in 1990.
Haring made a tremendous impact on New York City, the art world and the LGBT community. His work and legacy are still celebrated to this day, through art exhibits, media and of course, tattoos. There are thousands of fans of Haring’s work who’ve adorned their body with his art and we’ve found just a select handful of these energetic pieces. Take a peek at the tattoos in the gallery below, then let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section on social media.