25 Keith Haring Quotes From The Iconic NYC Artist

Get to know an American art icon with our Keith Haring quotes. 

Keith Haring lived a life of expression, passion, and beauty

He was an American artist whose style was influenced by the New York City graffiti scene. 

Graffiti is an essential part of hip-hop culture and emerged in New York as a form of expression young people enjoyed. 

As a product of this subculture, Haring shaped his art around the culture he grew up in. 

Check out these Keith Haring facts: 

  • Much of Haring’s work focused on social activism. 
  • He produced more than 50 public pieces between 1982 and 1989. 
  • Haring drew art all over NYC and eventually had his work commissioned. 

Did Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat know each other?

Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat were peers who often inspired one another. 

Basquiat and Haring would hang out at the Mudd Club and Club 57 in New York City during their heyday.

Together they rubbed shoulders with the likes of Andy Warhol and other influential artists of the time. 

Keith Haring and The Pop Shop

The Pop Shop was one of Haring’s dreams come true. 

He built it as a safe space where artists could create, share, sell, and work. 

The Pop Shop made his work accessible to the public and allowed him to generate income and create art without worrying about police or tickets. 

Critics ostracized Haring for commercializing his work. 

However, he scoffed at their inability to see the big picture.

He noted, “I could earn more money if I just painted a few things and jacked up the price.”

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He continued, “My shop is an extension of what I was doing in the subway stations, breaking down the barriers between high and low art.” 

Keith Haring and the AIDS Epidemic

My life has always been tied to Keith Haring’s. 

Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988; I lost my mother to AIDS in 1988. 

My birthday is February 13, and Haring’s death date is February 16.

I remember seeing his work as a child and being drawn to it for reasons I could not explain. 

Perhaps his art was speaking directly to my young heart. 

To learn more, check out our Keith Haring quotes below. 

Short Kieth Haring quotes about art

Keith did not need many words to describe art. 

1. “Art is for everybody.” — Keith Haring 

2. “Art is not a thing; it is a way.” — Keith Haring 

3. “Art is the universal language.” — Keith Haring 

4. “I don’t believe in art as an elitist activity.” — Keith Haring 

5. “Art should be something that liberates your soul.” — Keith Haring 

The top Keith Haring quotes about expression and feelings

Keith opens up about how art and expression are forever intertwined. 

6. “I don’t think art is propaganda.” — Keith Haring 

7. “The lines I draw are an expression of my innermost feelings.” — Keith Haring 

8. “[Art] provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.” — Keith Haring 

9. “I am interested in making art that can be experienced and understood by everyone.” — Keith Haring 

10. “I don’t think that graffiti is vandalism; I think it’s a beautiful form of self-expression.” — Keith Haring 

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The best Keith Haring quotes about seeing with new eyes

Haring was poetic and artistic. 

11. “I’m not interested in the didactic.” — Keith Haring 

12. “My work is not about form. It’s about seeing.” — Keith Haring 

13. “I’m not really sure what social message my art carries, if any.” — Keith Haring 

14. “Art is nothing if you don’t reach every segment of the people.” — Keith Haring 

15. “I’m excited about seeing things, and I’m interested in the way I think other people see things.” — Keith Haring 

Famous Keith Haring quotes about what makes each one of us special

We are all unique, and Keith Haring loved that about humanity. 

16. “My contribution to the world is my ability to draw.” — Keith Haring 

17. “The most important thing in life is to remember the importance of life.” — Keith Haring 

18. “I wanted to work in the street because I wanted to reach the people.” — Keith Haring 

19. “I am interested in art as a means of living a life; not as a means of making a living.” — Keith Haring 

20. “I will draw as much as I can for as many people as I can for as long as I can.” — Keith Haring 

Keith Haring quotes and sayings to live by

Let’s close our list with some introspective quotes from Keith. 

21. “The public needs art.” — Keith Haring 

22. “It is the responsibility of a ‘self-proclaimed artist’ to realize the public needs art. — Keith Haring 

23. “Art should be something that stimulates the imagination and encourages people to think and question.” — Keith Haring 

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24. “It is the responsibility of the ‘self-proclaimed artist to make bourgeois art for a few and ignore the masses.” — Keith Haring 

25. “Art is one of the last areas that is totally within the realm of the human individual and can’t be copied or done better by a machine or technology.” — Keith Haring 

Gone but not forgotten

Haring passed away decades ago, but his work lives on.

His passion continues to inspire new generations of artists and dreamers. 

What is your favorite Keith Haring quote?

Be sure to let us know in the comments below. 

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