Keith Haring, American Music Festival Poster, 1988. Courtesy of MSP Modern.

Keith Haring: Posters

Keith Haring, the street artist who famously declared that “art is for everybody,” started designing posters in 1982, while he was still a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Haring was drawn to posters because they were a democratic medium—a great way to share his bright designs and graphic characters with the public on a large scale. Over the next eight years, Haring created over 80 unique posters, from corporate advertisements for Absolut and Lucky Strike to cultural announcements for the Montreux Jazz Festival and the World Breakdance Championship. Haring also used posters as a means for social activism, spreading awareness about the crack cocaine epidemic in the United States, apartheid in South Africa, global nuclear disarmament, and the devastation of AIDS—a disease Haring would eventually face. Together, these posters feature nearly all of Haring’s signature icons, including his radiant baby, flying angel, and barking dog.

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