Celebrating Keith Haring - 80s Pop Art

Ah...the 80s. A simpler time. At least it feels like compared to now, I suppose. I am sure there were plenty of problems way back then, but looking back now I just remember the movies, the music, the fashions, and a lot of hair spray.


I remember seeing Keith Haring's art back then. It was so simple, especially compared to the master's I had been introduced to before then - Michelangelo, DaVinci, Monet, Van Gogh, etc. It may have been my first introduction to Pop Art. I loved the way he created his images and messages though his art with just outline figures of people of animals. I remember the happy vibe I felt seeing some of his iconic works back in the 80s...and I got them again as I was researching this project.


Keith Haring was born May 4, 1958, in Pennsylvania. He was an artist who knew fame in his short life. He was also an activist and spoke out about many issues, especially with his art. He was a huge activist for AIDS research. He died in January 1990 from complications from AIDS himself.


** Now, I will warn you, parent-to-parent, when searching "Keith Haring art" images, I saw a LOT of pictures I did NOT see as a child, some pornographic in nature. Please use discression when searching for images for this project to show your kiddos. You may want to look them up separately from your youngens. **


After doing some research, I settled on some heart images from Keith Haring as the inspiration for this piece. I thought it would be fun to play around with this idea. I opted for an acrylic painting, but Keith Haring was a multimedia artist. You are welcome to use whichever medium you feel best for you and this project.



For this project, I used:


- 11x14" stretched canvas

- Water

- Water cup

- Palette

- Paper towls

- Paint brushes (#4 Flat, #2 Flat & #20/0 Round)

- Acrylic Paints (Titanium White, Medium Yellow, Natural Gray, Burnt Umber, Quinacridone Red, Emerald Green, Cobalt Blue, Mars Black)

- Pencil

- Eraser


I hope you enjoy creating some fun, 80s Pop Art. I hope Keith Haring will inspire you to create something...amazing. I hope your message comes through in your work without the need for words, much like Mr. Harings does. Pull out your craziest fluorescent shirt, tease up that hair a bit, and throw some of your favorite 80s music on the radio. It will be an 80s kinda day creating some 80s Pop Art.


As always, please let me know if you need any help creating your masterpieces. I would love to assist you where I can. Relax. Have fun. Enjoy the time doing it...and happy arting, everyone.

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