Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography , is a slapdash salute to the graffiti artist Keith Haring, but this "biography" is more like a patchwork of… Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography , is a slapdash salute to the graffiti artist Keith Haring, but this "biography" is more like a patchwork of… Biography Pop Culture Prentice Hall
Book Review

Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography (1991)

EW's GRADE
C

Details Writer: John Gruen; Genres: Biography, Pop Culture; Publisher: Prentice Hall

Keith Haring: The Authorized Biography, is a slapdash salute to the graffiti artist Keith Haring, but this ''biography'' is more like a patchwork of interviews with Haring's friends — from Picasso's son, Claude, to Madonna — stitched together with Haring's own reflections.

Haring was 31 when he died of AIDS in 1990, having made his name in the early '80s by filling New York subway stations with his trademark drawings of dogs and what he called ''radiant babies.'' An unapologetic populist, he nevertheless smarted at the American museum world's refusal to recognize him, and his ambivalence shows here; his charming anecdotes about his guerrilla artistry and colorful downtown nightlife gradually yield to tedious stretches of self-congratulation. There's no question that Haring was talented; Gruen's attempts to confirm his historic significance, however, would be more convincing if they were more objective. C

Originally posted Oct 25, 1991 Published in issue #89 Oct 25, 1991 Order article reprints
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