"Burgess describes Haring discovering Robert Henri’s The Art Spirit in college (“He felt as if the book was speaking directly to him”), encountering the large paintings of Pierre Alechinsky (he was “blown away”), and recognizing a common impulse in dancers at the West Village’s Paradise Garage (“For Keith, drawing and painting were like dancing. He called it ‘mind-to-hand flow’”). Cochran uses a thick black line to suggest Haring’s creations, and renders figures in a Haring-esque style without seeming gimmicky. Of interest to young readers are Haring’s frequent efforts to involve children in mural-making projects. The story, including a respectful acknowledgement of Haring’s death from AIDS, makes the subject seem immediate and real—and presents a compelling vision of answering the call to create." —Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
I would love to be a teacher because I love children and I think that not enough people respect children or understand how important they are. I have done many projects with children of all ages. —Keith Haring
Truly devoted to the idea of public art, Haring created murals wherever he went.
From Matthew Burgess, the much-acclaimed author of Enormous Smallness, comes Drawing on Walls: A Story of Keith Haring. Often seen drawing in white chalk on the matte black paper of unused advertising space in the subway, Haring’s iconic pop art and graffiti-like style transformed the New York City underground in the 1980s. A member of the LGBTQ community, Haring died tragically at the age of thirty-one from AIDS-related complications. Illustrated in paint by Josh Cochran, himself a specialist in bright, dense, conceptual drawings, this honest, celebratory book honors Haring’s life and art, along with his very special connection with kids.
"Thirty years after Keith Haring’s death of AIDS-related complications, this vibrant picture book brings the iconic pop artist’s work and story to the hearts of a new generation. Often featuring a bold black line, Cochran’s painterly illustrations drive the narrative—bursting with movement and color—utilizing a wide variety of perspectives and both spot and full-bleed illustrations to dance around the text in a suitably neo-expressionist tribute to the subject. Stylized and simplified figures fill the pages with smiling faces in a broad spectrum of skin tones and body types, opening the door on Haring’s passionately held belief that “Art is for everybody.” Without erasing or dwelling on any particular aspect of Haring’s personal life, author Burgess outlines Haring’s relationships with art, with children, and with his partner, Juan DuBose, in straightforward, accessible language—from his childhood in Pennsylvania to his “final mark” in Pisa, Italy (five months before his death)—with the same bold honesty and vibrance visible in his subject’s art career. Biographical, author’s, and illustrator’s notes back up the book, supplementing the broad strokes of the text with finer detail and more individual perspectives on Haring’s personal, political, and artistic legacies. An inspired, and inspiring, continuation of Haring’s intention." —Kirkus
“Drawing On Walls: A Story of Keith Haring is gorgeous and deeply inspiring…this large padded hardcover book is beautifully constructed and illustrated with a thoughtfully told story.” -Inclusive Storytime
- Children's Book Council Champions of Change Selection