Investigación Centro de Estudios para la Gobernabilidad Institucional

Disponible Agosto 2017

Con la llegada del siglo XXI, hemos entrado de lleno en la Globalización, donde la economía, la cultura, el medio ambiente, los derechos humanos, los movimientos migratorios. Anyone familiar with the career of Keith Haring knows he was a prolific artist with a distinct style that was simultaneously refined and primitive, deliberate yet lyrical and energetic. Clearly he aspired to create art with purity and integrity, but to do so in an accessible way so it could be shared with people. He was also widely known to pursue his art with a deeply personal vision, as a champion of social justice and a believer in the interconnectedness of humanity. The worlds Haring deftly navigated and the barriers he attempted to break down have been extensively noted by art critics.

However, it’s one thing to see an artist’s work and hear critical analysis, and another altogether to hear an artist’s own thoughts, ideas, hopes, fears, questions, and most profound philosophies in his own words. Haring, as viewed through the prism of success, cannot compare to the thoughts revealed in his journals as they follow his evolution as an artist and human being, his rise to fame, and his eventual diagnosis as HIV positive.

One of the many insights Haring shares in his journals is that fame changes people’s perception. In 1989, Haring wrote, “People keep asking me how success has changed me. I always say that success has changed people’s responses and behavior toward me and that has affected me, but it has not really changed me. I feel the same on the inside as I did 10 years ago.” Through Haring’s journals, one bypasses the detached academic evaluations of his work as art history and finds the artist’s own documentation and catharsis as he develops his identity and philosophy.

It’s nothing short of remarkable how developed and sophisticated Keith Haring’s worldview was at a very young age. Upon arriving at the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1978 at only 20 years old, Haring begins to lay out his ideas about art and life. Haring’s populism is demonstrated early on, and eventually manifests in many forms. “The public has a right to art” and “Art is for everybody” are ideas that can be found in his journals from that time, and remained consistent throughout his career.