When it comes to pop culture, technology, and the art scene, 25 years is a long time. In the 1980s, when Keith Haring created his masterpieces, there was no World Wide Web, Pulp Fiction hadn’t been made, and the Apple Macintosh was still running System 6. No one had cell phones, and not a single member of One Direction had been born yet.
While society forgets more quickly and more thoroughly than ever before, some cultural icons stay with us no matter how much time has passed. Keith Haring’s work remains instantly recognizable to everyone, and as powerful in our day as it was in his. With a stark, playful style that belied his energetic and physical process, Haring elevated street art decades before Banksy, and integrated political and cultural messages (including powerful messages about the AIDS epidemic when fear and rumor were still triumphant over science) into his work in subtle but compelling ways that never compromised the beauty and impact of his art.
On July 23, we’re celebrating Keith Haring and his work. To take part, visit your local Barnes & Noble to color in one of two Keith Haring original postcard designs. Post your creation to Instagram or Twitter for a chance to win a gift set. Complete rules are here. Check with your local store for details about the event.
And if you are in NYC, visit our Union Square store to get your photo taken with a Keith Haring backdrop in the Café on the third floor. Call the store for more information and details about the event timing.
The beautiful collection below is another way to remember and celebrate the spirit of Keith Haring.
Keith Haring Keepsake Boxed Notecards
Useful things should be beautiful, and vice versa, and this collection of tent cards imprinted with four iconic Haring works (including his famous Andy Mouse painting, inspired by his friend and mentor Andy Warhol) is both. With four of each included in the 16-card set, the sheer joy that Haring brought to even his most political works shines through in these high-energy prints by one of 20th century America’s most recognizable artists. As befits a collection like this, the cards are housed in a durable box with a magnetic seal to protect these works of art until you’re ready to send them out into the world.
Keith Haring Pencil Set
Part of Haring’s genius was how his style was so fundamental that it was recognizable in even tiny snapshots. It’s easy to see Haring’s hand and style in a single line. These delightful pencils come in a variety of colors and buzz with the positive energy Haring brought to all of his work.
Keith Haring Colored Edge Journal
Featuring silkscreened yellow-edged paper and a lay-flat binding, with a classic Keith Haring pattern on the cover, this beautiful journal is the perfect gift for an aspiring or working artist—or really, anyone who needs a sturdy, portable place to jot down their ideas.
Keith Haring Idea Journal
Keith Haring was one of those artists who created several famous images that became his trademarks—from the “radiant baby” he chose as his own personal icon to the “barking dog” or the “flying angel.” These symbols and figures repeated in his work and unified his art into a cohesive whole that celebrated life in the midst of an epidemic, energetically demanding action rather than being critical or condemning. This perfectly sized idea journal features these Haring classics on each page, offering up 112 opportunities to create your own works of beauty, power, and timelessness.