Keith Haring was born on May, 4, 1958 in Kutztown, Pennsylvania. As a child he was a voracious drawer, citing cartoons and his father as his two main inspirations. Even as he grew older and enrolled in art school in Pittsburgh and later in New York City, his work
still carried a childs whimsical sensibility. Haring considered art to be in the public domain. After settling in New York, he began to work on his art inside subway cars, where he attracted the attention of the media and the general public. Haring gained notoriety after an extremely successful one-man show. He began to travel abroad to work, displaying his art in Japan and painting the side of a church in Italy. In continuation with his original goal: to reach the public, and children in particular, Haring opened a store called Pop Shop, to sell his art on posters, buttons, T-shirts, and games. He also drew from a background in graffiti art to produce grand murals with local schoolchildren, encouraging them to view art as medicine instead of luxury. Haring became a symbol of the budding struggle against AIDS when he was diagnosed with the disease in the late 80s.