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Untitled (Subway Drawing)

Artwork Factory


For his “Subway Drawings,” Keith Haring used empty advertising spaces, on whose dark background he drew the outlines of his main motifs in one go with white chalk. On the right side of the image are the outlines of two human figures in comic pose and a frieze of crawling babies. Next to the drawing is the poster that was originally pasted beside it: a promotional poster for a 3-D movie entitled “The Man Who Wasn’t There.”

Associated modules

Keith Haring was an artist and activist in the vibrant New York art scene of the 1980s. When he came to New York at the age of 20, Keith was fascinated by the graffiti on the streets and in the subways.


Isn’t the title of the movie being advertised here quite fitting?

Sometimes a museum holds artworks that originated on the street or, as here, in the subway. Beside one of Keith’s “Subway Drawings” an original advertising poster is even preserved: the last traces of the public space.


How important for art are its surroundings?

"Because they were so sensitive, people didn’t touch them, they respected them; they did not erase or destroy them. That is what gives them their very own strength. This chalk-white, fragile something in the midst of all this power and tension and violence emitted by the subway."

Keith Haring



One day, Keith got caught while drawing and was led away in handcuffs, since it is forbidden to draw on public surfaces. That’s the law—isn’t it?

Which is right: prohibition or artistic freedom?

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Artist Factory

Artist Keith Haring

was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, USA, in 1958 and died in New York in 1990.

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