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The Universe of Keith Haring (2008)The Universe of Keith Haring (2008)

           Even if you've never heard the name Keith Haring (1958–1990), you've almost certainly seen his graphic line art with its signature style — on a subway car, a mural in an office, an outdoor sculpture, tee shirts and hats, a Swatch watch or bottle of Absolut vodka. Haring was born into an all-American family in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. He attended church, youth group, and summer camp, and recalls his paper route from ages twelve to sixteen. After graduating from high school in 1976, for six months he studied commercial art in Pittsburgh. In 1978 he moved to New York. Only a few years later Haring was a global phenomenon; in 1982 people lined up to see him in Japan. When Madonna married Sean Penn in 1985, Haring took Andy Warhol as his date. This documentary draws upon extensive interviews with Haring's family, art critics, close friends like Yoko Ono, and Haring himself. The film doesn't dig deeply into Haring's person or work, and the film is entirely uncritical, but it's nevertheless fascinating to watch him work; he never made sketches but rather drew and painted spontaneously. Haring was diagnosed with HIV in 1988 and died of AIDS at the age of 31in February 1990. Today his works are featured in galleries around the world.

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