Keith Haring, (born May 4, 1958, Reading, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died February 16, 1990, New York, New York), American graphic artist and designer who popularized some of the strategies and impulses of graffiti art.
After a brief period studying at the Ivy School of Art in Pittsburgh, Haring moved to New York City in 1978 to attend the School of Visual Arts. With fellow artists Kenny Scharf and Jean-Michel Basquiat, Haring immersed himself in the punk clubs and street art scene of New York. In 1981 he began drawing graffiti—unauthorized chalk drawings on blank black advertising panels—in the New York subways. These would eventually number in the thousands, and they quickly created a popular following for his lively figural and patterned imagery and his cheekily outlaw activity. Haring shared few of the “tagging” tactics of urban graffitists, being drawn instead to the possibilities of a new public and vernacular kind of signage.