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The Universe of Keith Haring: a film review

By Philip Cheney

The Universe of Keith Haring

The Universe of Keith Haring is a beautiful, moving and extremely entertaining documentary that engages us in the life and work of one of today’s most successful modern artists. Keith Haring created a body of work in both the streets and on canvas, and although he created these pieces in less than a decade they are some of the most iconic images of our modern day world. The New York based artist lived a life devoted to art through-out the 80’s before he died young due to the AIDS epidemic. His untimely demise is all the more reason this film should have been made, to carry on the legacy and make people aware of the artist whose good will showed in both his paintings and activist works.

Individuals of the current youth generation who may not have heard of Keith have probably been inevitably exposed to his work, as his buttons, t-shirts and prints are still floating around as well as the many Haring murals that still cling to walls around the world today. This film is a great start for anyone who is interested in art and would like to learn more about this artist and his work. Directed by Christina Clausen and released in 2008, the film runs a little over an hour and a half, plowing through interviews, stock footage and still images in an entertaining and colorful spectacle that will invigorate even viewers who are opposed to watching your average documentary. If you enjoy this film check out these other fun documentaries on modern art:  Jean Michel Basquait: The Radiant Child     Exit Through the Gift Shop


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