Keith Haring would have been 62 years old today had he not succumbed to HIV/AIDS related complications in 1990.
Keith was an activist as well as an artist, and frequently used his artwork to help draw attention to a variety of issues, including the call to end apartheid, nuclear-disarmament, and the HIV-AIDS epidemic.
In a statement in the magazine Flash Art in 1984, Keith wrote “I think the contemporary artist has a responsibility to humanity to continue celebrating humanity and opposing the dehumanization of our culture.” His well-documented history of social activism shows his commitment to this belief.
Keith Haring would have been 61 years old today had he not succumbed to HIV/AIDS related complications in 1990. He surely would have been hopeful and optimistic in light of recent findings that have led the media to proclaim the “end of AIDS is in sight.” However, for many, access to medicine and healthcare remains a major hurdle in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
According to the World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “The right to health for all people means that everyone should have access to the health services they need, when and where they need them, without suffering financial hardship. No one should get sick and die just because they are poor, or because they cannot access the health services they need.”
As we continue the fight against HIV/AIDS, it is critical that we understand that healthcare is a human right.
Keith Haring would have been 60 years old today had he not succumbed to AIDS related complications in 1990. He established the Keith Haring Foundation in 1989 so that he could continue to help the fight against AIDS even after his death. The Keith Haring Foundation is proud to be partnering with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in their effort to see an AIDS-free generation by 2020.
To learn more about the Elizabeth Glaser AIDS Foundation and to help support their work visit http://www.pedaids.org
This photo shows party-goers at the second annual Party of Life, hosted by Keith Haring in May of 1985 at the newly re-opened Palladium nightclub on East 14th Street in New York City. 5,000 people were sent puzzles in a box as an invite to the party, the box also contained buttons that attendees had to wear in order to gain entrance. Today, May 4th, would’ve been his 58th birthday.