That’s the work of Kutztown native Keith Haring, who flipped the art world on its ear in the 1980s before succumbing to AIDS in 1990, you’re seeing on Google today. He would have been 54 today. And it’s bittersweet to think what he’d be like as a 54-year-old now — Haring’s influence, as far as we can tell, has been so wide as to be an essential part of so many contemporary art styles, from street art (obviously), where Haring effortlessly merged high and low, on up to DIY branding and merchandising, from museum shops to Etsy. Would he have loved what he saw today, or would he just have been bored by it? It’s hard to say, though at the core of Haring’s work was an open-ness and simplicity that keeps his images in the visual parlance today. Haring, of course, had a lot of love for Philly, evidenced in his stops here with the “Keith’s Kids” project and the mural that still stands here. In any case, here’s a tip of the hat to Haring: He wasn’t just an essential reference point for us, growing up in Philly, but the changes he made to the art game still stand, and proudly so. Happy Birthday, buddy. We still miss you.
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