Keith Haring - The Pioneer of Street Art

Keith Haring - The Pioneer of Street Art

Apr 22, 2017

Taking place in the urban areas of subways and the sidewalks of New York, Haring's work became a visual language for expressing themes of exploitation, subjugation, drug abuse, sexuality, birth and death.

Haring provided proof of the possibilities for using public spaces that were not usually dedicated to art. To share artistic and political messages to multiple audiences, the streets were a perfect canvas. He lent street art credibility and legitimacy, taking it to into the realms of high art through museums and fine art galleries inspiring a new generation of street-to-gallery artists.

Haring developed a distinct pop-graffiti aesthetic centered on fluid, bold outlines against a dense, rhythmic overspread of imagery like that of babies, barking dogs, flying saucers, hearts, and Mickey Mouse.

We count down Hang-Up's influential street artists - these artists were and are still considered rebels, at times risking arrest and censorship to display their often politically charged art in public places...

#5 - Ben Eine
Eine is one of the most successful street artists in the world today and is regarded as a pioneer in the exploration of grafitti letterforms. In 2010 his artwork was gifted to President Obama by the UK Prime Minister, and his unique pieces can be seen across London. He is known in particular for painting shop shutters in London's Shoreditch neighbourhood, London's street art hub, and helping to spark the mentality of shop owners in the area who encourage street artists to paint their property.

This Sounds Better In The Rain - Ben Eine

#4 - Shepard Fairey
Shepard Fairey has long been haunting consumer culture with an ambition mocking street campaign featuring an omnipresent Andre the Giant. An astute student in the arts of persuasion, Fairey began his epic satire on the science of celebrity endorsements and the alchemy of suggesting desire back in 1989, while he was still a student at The Rhode Island School of Design. Since then his propaganda has been proliferated through stickers, clothing, skateboards, posters, stencil-based graffiti and even a documentary film, to spread over the United States and the world.

Revolution Girl - Shepard Fairey

Be the Change - Shepard Fairey

#3 - KAWS
The way KAWS inserted his work into bus stop advertisements and billboards was groundbreaking at the time. Since then, KAWS has gone on to conquer the vinyl toy world—where many street artists and graffiti writers followed him—the fashion world and the fine art world. There's little doubt that the way he has been able to infiltrate pop culture has been an inspiration to many.

Paper Smile - KAWS

Presenting the Past - KAWS

#2 - Invader
Defining himself as an UFA, an Unidentified Free Artist, Invader is the pseudonym of the French urban artist whose work is modelled on the crude pixelation of 1970s–1980s 8-bit video games. He took his name from the 1978 arcade game Space Invaders, and much of his work is composed of square ceramic tiles inspired by video game characters. Although he prefers to remain incognito, and guards his identity carefully, his distinctive creations can be seen in many highly-visible locations in more than 65 cities in 33 countries. He documents each intervention in a city as an "Invasion", and publishes the locations on a map for those ambitious enough to go seek them out:

Astroboy - Invader

#1 - Banksy
Banksy was the first UK graffiti artist to successfully straddle the divide between street and fine art. Having initially built his reputation on a series of high profile public stunts, such as installing his own painting into the Tate Museum, Banksy has become a worldwide phenomenon and the leader of the street art movement. His wit, humour and message have connected with a large international audience and he has become one of the hottest and most important living Contemporary artists in the world. From the Bristol, UK, his identity has remained anonymous at all times and does not operate through the conventional gallery system, having no formal representation. His latest project, the Walled Off Hotel, attracted huge media attention and hit the world by storm. The British street artist has opened the 'Walled Off Hotel' in Bethlehem next to the West Bank barrier in the hope to bring tourists to the war-torn town and encourage dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

Flying Copper - Banksy

Love Is In The Air - Banksy
You can visit our very own Banksy Bunker Tuesday to Sunday 12-6pm!

Keep an eye out on our website for new works that come available. Don't forget that if you are looking for a certain piece, check out our Match platform and we will contact you if that work becomes available!

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