Dr Martens unveils powerful collaboration with seminal gay artist Keith Haring’s estate

Dr. Martens have teamed up with the Keith Haring Foundation for a new collection

Dr. Martens x Keith Haring is a collection of shoes featuring illustrations by the iconic gay artist.

The upcoming line will see some of Keith Haring’s most popular motifs decorated on classic Dr. Martens shoes, including an angel with its wings outstretched, a barking dog and an image of interlocked genderless people.

His pop art designs were influenced by 1980s culture in New York and started out as graffiti on the walls of the city’s subway. After gaining public recognition he created large scale works that addressed issues including Apartheid, the crack cocaine epidemic and most famously the AIDS crisis.

Some of his most famous works include chalk outlines of figures holding up a heart, dancing and linking as well as up-close faces with three eyes, with the majority of his pieces being untitled.

I am intrigued with the shapes people choose as their symbols to create language. Haring once said. There is within all forms a basic structure, an indication of the entire object with a minimum of lines, that becomes a symbol.

The shoes and boots will feature recognisable art by the queer icon

The shoes and boots will feature recognisable art by the queer icon. (Dr. Martens)

Haring was a big staple in the influential ’80s art scene in New York and was regularly photographed alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono and Grace Jones, who he collaborated with.

The majority of his work advocated for safe sex and AIDS awareness which was ground breaking for its time. In 1990 Haring sadly died of AIDS-related causes but his artwork still remains influential and hugely popular today.

Throughout his life he made an effort to widely disseminate his work, which came with accusations of “selling out”, but he continued to take on public art commissions including work on a section of the Berlin Wall.

Keith Haring with one of his art works

Keith Haring is known for his pop art and graffiti-like designs. (Jack Mitchell/Getty Images)

More recently BBC Two and PBS aired the documentary Keith Haring: Street Art Boy, which is built from a series of unheard interviews between Haring and art critic John Gruen in 1989 and tells his definitive story through his own words.

The upcoming collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation will include Dr. Martens original silhouettes which will be printed with Haring’s iconic illustrations, complete with two bright character lace charms. Also featuring is two 1461 shoes decorated with his staple designs and a black kids’ 1460 boot printed with his classic bat graphic and a cartoon dog lace charm.

The original Dr. Martens silhouette shoes detailed with two bright character lace charms

The original silhouette shoes detailed with two bright character lace charms. (Dr. Martens)

How to buy the Dr. Martens x Keith Haring collab.

The collection was officially released online on 22 January.

The shoes are priced at £129 each, while the boot is priced at £159 and they’re all available from the Dr. Martens x Keith Haring page on the website here.

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