Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring

Harper. Mar. 2024. 512p. ISBN 9780062698261. $37.50. FINE ARTS
This new biography of artist Keith Haring is a thorough and thoughtful look at his childhood through his death in 1990 at age 31. Poet and biographer Gooch (City Poet) details how Haring’s early interest in art and eventually iconic artistic style were shaped not only by his family and teachers but also by the gritty streets of New York City and artists such as Warhol and Basquiat. Gooch describes in depth the NYC gay community and the many exhibitions, projects, friends, and lovers that were part of Haring’s life. He also details Haring’s diagnosis with HIV and his death from AIDS-related complications. Primary sources are cited throughout, including quotes from family and friends, as well as Haring’s own words as captured in his writing and in interviews.
VERDICT A solid choice for those with an interest in pop art figures or gay culture of the 1970s and ’80s, particularly in relation to the AIDS epidemic in New York City.
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