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Its All About Haring: Keith Haring

Early Life and Artistic Beginnings

Keith Haring was born on May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania. From an early age, he displayed a passion for drawing and cartooning. Haring's artistic journey began during his college years at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he studied painting and sculpture. It was in the bustling streets of the city that Haring found his inspiration, immersing himself in the vibrant subcultures and graffiti art that defined the urban landscape.

The Montreux Jazz Festival Collaboration

One of the most significant collaborations in Keith Haring's career was his partnership with the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1983. This renowned music festival held in Montreux, Switzerland, provided Haring with an opportunity to showcase his art to a global audience. Haring's artistic style perfectly complemented the dynamic and energetic nature of jazz music, making him an ideal collaborator for the festival.

Haring's collaboration with the Montreux Jazz Festival resulted in the creation of a large silkscreen artwork that captured the essence of the festival's vibrant atmosphere. The artwork featured Haring's signature bold lines and vivid colors, depicting musicians and dancers in his iconic style. The piece became an instant hit, capturing the spirit of the festival and showcasing Haring's ability to merge art and music seamlessly.

Lucky Strike: Art and Advertising

In addition to his collaboration with the Montreux Jazz Festival, Keith Haring also worked with Lucky Strike, a well-known cigarette brand, on a series of ad campaigns. Despite facing criticism for accepting commercial gigs, Haring saw these opportunities as a way to bring his art to a wider audience and challenge the boundaries between art and advertising.

One of Haring's notable collaborations with Lucky Strike was the creation of ten designs that featured his iconic figures interacting with the brand's cigarettes. These designs showcased Haring's playful and energetic style, using bold lines and vibrant colors to depict dancing figures and the product itself.

Recognition and Exhibitions

Keith Haring's artwork continues to be celebrated and exhibited worldwide. His pieces have been showcased in prestigious institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Albertina Museum in Vienna. Haring's work commands high prices at auctions, with his highest recorded sale reaching $6.5 million at Sotheby's in 2017.


Keith Haring's collaborations with the Montreux Jazz Festival and Lucky Strike played a significant role in shaping his artistic journey. These partnerships allowed Haring to explore new mediums, reach wider audiences, and challenge traditional notions of art. By merging his vibrant and energetic style with music and advertising, Haring created a unique artistic language that continues to captivate and inspire. His legacy as an artist and cultural icon lives on, reminding us of the power of art to transcend boundaries and make a lasting impact on society.

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