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The Arts Intel Report

A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler
A Cultural Compass
For the World Traveler

Keith Haring: Subway Drawings

Keith Haring, Untitled (FDR NY) #3 & #4, 1984.

14-20 Osborne St, Glasgow G1 5QN, United Kingdom

“I have been drawing in the subway for three years now,” wrote Keith Haring, “and although my career aboveground has skyrocketed, the subway is still my favorite place to draw.” In those days, throughout the New York City subway system, large rectangles of matte black paper, empty of advertisements, seemed to be asking for content. From age 21 to 26, Haring created a signature style in the black spaces on station walls—illustrations that have since become symbols of 1980s America. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1958, Haring left for New York in the late 70s to pursue his passion for the arts. Fifty years later, Glasgow’s Modern Institute is showing his subway works on brick walls, a way to convey the spontaneous creativity that made Haring famous. —Zack Hauptman

Photo courtesy of the Modern Institute, Toby Webster Ltd., and Patrick Jameson