Keith Haring quotes

Why should I know Keith Haring?

Native New Yorker Keith Haring was a well known pop artist in the eighties. His iconic and childlike drawings were often found in the subways all over New York City. Haring's style is very recognizable. An avid homosexual, Haring died of a big disease with a little name in 1990.

Keith Haring books

Keith Haring quotes

“Art has no meaning because it has many meanings, infinite meanings. Art is different for every individual, and is definable only by the given individual.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“Art is for everybody.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“Art is more important than life because it is immortal.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

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

Keith Haring

“Art should be something that liberates your soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“Children are the bearers of life in its simplest and most joyous form. Children are color-blind and still free of all the complications, greed, and hatred that will slowly be instilled in them through life.”

Keith Haring

“Children know something that most people have forgotten.”

Keith Haring

“Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man and the world. It lives through magic.”

Keith Haring

“Every time I make something I think about the people who are going to see it and every time I see something, I think about the person who made it...”

Keith Haring

“Everybody draws when they are little.”

Keith Haring

“From the time I was little, things would happen that seemed like chance, but they always meant more, so I came to believe there was no such thing as chance. If you accept that there are no coincidences, you use whatever comes along.”

Keith Haring

“Good and evil are very hard to explain or understand. I'm sure that evil exists, but it is hard to isolate. Good and evil are intertwined and impossible to separate. They are not completely opposites and in fact are often one and the same.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“How do you participate in the world but not loose your integrity?”

Keith Haring

“I always have realized that I enjoy to read (and have learned many things from) the biographies of artists whom I admire. It is probably my main source of education.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“I am a necessary part of an important search to which there is no end.”

Keith Haring

“I am intrigued with the shapes people choose as their symbols to create a language. There is within all forms a basic structure, an indication of the entire object with a minimum of lines that becomes a symbol. This is common to all languages, all people, all times.”

Keith Haring

“I am not a beginning. I am not an end. I am a link in a chain.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“I am quite aware of the chance that I have or will have AIDS. The odds are very great and, in fact, the symptoms already exist. My friends are dropping like flies and I know in my heart that it is only divine intervention that has kept me alive this long. I don’t know if I have five months or five years, but I know my days are numbered.

This is why my activities and projects are so important now. To do as much as possible as quickly as possible. I’m sure that what will live on after I die is important enough to make sacrifices of my personal luxury and leisure time. Work is all I have and art is more important than life.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“I don't think art is propaganda; it should be something that liberates the soul, provokes the imagination and encourages people to go further. It celebrates humanity instead of manipulating it.”

Keith Haring

“I have been enlightened. I have fallen into poetry and it has swallowed me up.”

Keith Haring

“I was always totally amazed that the people I would meet while I was doing them were really, really concerned with what they meant. The first thing anyone asked me, no matter how old, no matter who they were, was, ‘What does it mean?’”

Keith Haring

“I'd like to pretend that I've never seen anything, never read anything, never heard anything... and then make something...”

Keith Haring

“I've always wanted to work for Walt Disney. That's what I thought I was going to do when I grew up.”

Keith Haring

“If commercialization is putting my art on a shirt so that a kid who can't afford a $30,000 painting can buy one, then I'm all for it.”

Keith Haring

“In the beginning of my “career” (what an awful word) I was misled by a teacher who thought the things I was writing to be pretentious and self important. Years later, when I read those things I wrote in 1978, it didn’t seem so pretentious for almost everything I wrote about “wanting to do,” I actually did in the four or five years that followed.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“Individuality is the enemy of this mass society. Individuality speaks for the individual and makes him a significant factor. Art is individuality.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“My contribution to the world is my ability to draw. I will draw as much as I can for as many people as I can for as long as I can.”

Keith Haring

“Nothing is important... so everything is important.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“People, I realize, cannot live like a patch of grass. They could, I suppose, at one time, but we are so far removed from that time that it is hard to conceive. People can, however, live their lives with the realization that they are constantly changing, products of their changing environment and changing situations, and time. They can live, at least, in harmony with the knowledge and co-exist with it instead of working against it.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“Pure art exists only on the level of instant response to pure life.”

Keith Haring

“Red is one of the strongest colors, it's blood, it has a power with the eye. That's why traffic lights are red I guess, and stop signs as well.... In fact I use red in all of my paintings.”

Keith Haring

“See, when I paint, it is an experience that, at its best, is transcending reality.”

Keith Haring

“Shapes that contain no inner components of positive/negative relationships will function better with other shapes of the same nature.”

Keith Haring

“The act of creation is a kind of ritual. The origins of art and human existence lie hidden in this mystery of creation. Human creativity reaffirms and mystifies the power of 'life.'”

Keith Haring

“The best reason to paint is that there is no reason to paint...”

Keith Haring

“The best reason to paint is that there is no reason to paint... I'd like to pretend that I've never seen anything, never read anything, never heard anything... and then make something... Every time I make something I think about the people who are going to see it and every time I see something, I think about the person who made it... Nothing is important... so everything is important.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“The dripping... well, if it happens, it happens; it does not take anything from the work. The dripping just proves that you were not trying to control the work, but the work was developing by itself and if it drips, its a natural part in the evolution of the work.”

Keith Haring

“The only way art lives is through the experience of the observer. The reality of art begins with the eyes of the beholder, through imagination, invention and confrontation.”

Keith Haring

“The public needs art, and it is the responsibility of a ’self-proclaimed artist’ to realize the public needs art, and not to make bourgeois art for the few and ignore the masses. … I am interested in making art to be experienced and explored by as many individuals as possible with as many different individual ideas about the given piece with no final meaning attached. The viewer creates the reality, the meaning, the conception of the piece. I am merely a middleman trying to bring ideas together.”

Keith Haring

“There are some images that I will only use once, and not use again because they don't seem to really hit the nail right on the head, but there are some which are so strong they have to be reduced; sometimes just reusing them makes them stronger.”

Keith Haring

“There is nothing that makes me happier than making a child smile.”

Keith Haring

“This transformation of ones self by ones own knowledge is, I think something rather close to the aesthetic experience. Why should a painter work if he is not transformed by his own painting.”

Keith Haring

“This, I feel, is the advantage to creating art at this point in time: When we realize that we are temporary, we are facing our self-destruction, we are realizing our fate and we must confront it. Art is the only sensible primal response to an outlook of possible destruction (obliteration).”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“Touching people’s lives in a positive way is as close as I can get to an idea of religion.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“Whatever you do, the only secret is to believe in it and satisfy yourself. Don't do it for anyone else.”

Keith Haring

“When I die there is nobody to take my place.”

Keith Haring

“When I grow up I would like to be an artist in France.”

Keith Haring

“When it is working, you completely go into another place, you're tapping into things that are totally universal, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That's what it's all about.”

Keith Haring

“Work is all I have and art is more important than life.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals

“You don't have to know anything about art to appreciate it or to look at it. There aren't any hidden secrets or things that you're supposed to understand.”

Keith Haring

“You have to be objective about money to use it fairly. It doesn't make you any better or any more useful than any other person. Even if you use your money to help people... that doesn't make you better than somebody who has no money but is sympathetic and genuinely loving to fellow human beings.”

Keith Haring Keith Haring Journals