Illustration of a crawling white baby with wings on a light blue background
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The flying baby is a combination of two powerful images common in Keith Haring’s work - the “radiant baby” and the “angel”. Haring used various repeating symbols and images in his art, often rendered in bold black outlines with bright primary colors. Haring’s “radiant baby” is one of his most iconic images and represents youthful innocence, purity, goodness, and potential. Haring grew up in a Christian family and, although he came to reject the religious beliefs of his youth, often used religious symbols and motifs, such as angels, in his art.
Keith Allen Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990) was an artist and social activist from Pennsylvania whose work was influenced by the New York City street culture and graffiti art of the 1980s. A 1997 Vanity Fair article states that "some of his most characteristic imagery involved figures twirling around and playing together, happy but never aimless." Since Haring's death from AIDS-related illness in 1990, images he created that speak about racism, drug addiction, AIDS awareness and tolerance have become iconic.
The Keith Haring Foundation was established in 1989, and it concentrates in 2 areas of giving: “the support of organizations which provide educational opportunities to underprivileged children and the support of organizations which engage in education, prevention and care with respect to AIDS and HIV infection.”