Gay artist Keith Haring celebrated by Google

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

Google has celebrated the life and work of Keith Haring, an American pop-artist who died of AIDS-related complications at the age of 31, twenty-two years ago, by means of a Google Doodle.

Mr Haring, who would have been 54 yesterday, was openly gay, and campaigned for safe sex. He died within two years of being diagnosed with HIV, and during his illness, established the Keith Haring Foundation, to provide funding and publicity for organisations that worked with patients suffering from complications due to the virus.

He first came to public attention through his chalk drawings on New York underground in the late seventies. He opened a shop in SoHo in 1986, called Pop Shop, whose regular clients included, among others, Madonna. The queen of pop once said of the artist: “Keith … managed to take something from what I call street art, which was an underground counterculture, and raise it to a pop culture for mass consumption. And I did that too.”

An unabashed populist, he wanted his works to reach as wide a public as possible. A retrospective of his work, Exhibitions: Keith Haring 1978—1982, opened at the Brooklyn Museum in New York in March, 2012.