Master of the Month :: Keith Haring
Every month, I introduce my students to a famous artist. I write a kid-friendly biography for each of these Masters of the Month; I display lots and lots of their artwork; and, just for fun, I draw their portraits too.
Keith Karing was a public artist and social activist who used his work to reach a large audience and create positive changes in the world. His most recognized work is the "radiant baby" icon that he used as a personal symbol.
What's not to love about Keith Haring? It is rare to find such an engaging example of an artist putting his work to good use. His art is simple, energetic, and colorful enough to speak to young students, but his subject matter and social conscience were mature beyond his years and time. If you have access to Netflix or a good library, I recommend The Universe of Keith Haring, an excellent documentary.
I was lucky to see a Keith Haring retrospective when I was in school. Every nook of the gallery was a treat. There was even a video of Grace Jones, bodypainted by Haring, singing "You're not perfect, but you are perfect for me." I enjoy all of this artist's work. That said, I think my favorite creation of his was the Pop Shop. I love the ideal that drove it and, considering the opposition against it, I appreciate its courage too.