Keith Haring left behind him an impressive body of work that reflects his era perhaps better than any New York artist of the early eighties.
His understanding of modern music and street art gave him a leg up on contemporaries still beholden to galleries and collectors to make their names.
Ironically even without the backing of some major art dealers he became perhaps the most well-known artist in the world, particularly amongst the young.
Journals offer a fascinating glimpse into the man and his work that is both instructive and sad as it becomes clear what the fate of this young gay man will be at the height of the AIDS epidemic.
Even before he contracts the disease, Haring senses that this is what will take his life and perhaps this is what keeps him producing work at such an astonishing rate. Along with his hard partying lifestyle this was a man who was going to use every ounce of life that the world could give him.
We sense his confidence in his own abilities and his competitiveness with other painters as well as his delight in the celebrity culture of Europe and America.
I suppose if you’re going to have a short life best make the most of it rather than bemoan your fate. This is exactly what Haring does and it makes us like him all the more.