by Kay A Haring and Robert Neubecker
First book review of 2019! This year, one of the areas I will be sharing with you is more Art related storybooks. Art and Art History are what started me on this journey and they are at the foundations of this blog. Looking, reading and creating is a way of escape. Escape from the stresses and the mundane that everyday life can throw at you.
In the last decade more artist related books have been written specifically for children. If we want our Little Feet to get wrapped up in art, get carried away, allow their imaginations to run wild at the opportunities and scope of art then starting with storybooks about artists is a great place to begin. It brings the artwork to life, especially for those who love nothing more than to sit snuggled up and read a book.
Today we will be reviewing a book called,
Written by his sister Kay A Haring and Robert Neubecker they together bring to life Keith’s life and legacy. Published in 2017 it was so popular on Amazon’s Children’s Art History section is remained in the top ten sellers for over a year.
Keith had a short but bursting at the seams life. His life cut too short at the age of 32 dying of AIDS/HIV related complications.
The book tells the story of Keith and how he would not stop drawing. He believed from a young age that art was for everyone, not just those who could afford to buy it or those who went to galleries or museums. He used his position to speak out on topics he believed strongly in and loved children.
After studying art he moved to New York in the 70s and was very much part of the counterculture of the age. Inspired by graffiti art and the shapes and movement of breakdancing by people in the street shaped his work.
When he began to work on the underground or ‘subway’. He noticed there were black billboard posters everywhere so he went out and bought white chalk and began to draw. His hand is easily recognisable and so quickly people began to realise they were done by the same person, though they were unsure who that person was. People began to ask questions as to why he drew places where they could be thrown away and discarded. He continued to do it.
Soon his notoriety was noticed and he began to be in demand in galleries in New York and around the world. Though he accepted painting and drawing for these institutions he always demanded that he do a mural as well so that EVERYONE could see art.
This book has such a beautiful message. His work, is vibrant and fun and your Little Feet will be drawn to the simple shapes and colours that he uses throughout his work. The illustrations and script in the book draw such a wonderful picture of Keith. He was a human that was born in a creative bubble machine that never broke. Wherever he went the effect of his love of drawing was infectious, bubbles flying everywhere and as they popped their fragrance stayed and left a profound effect. Do what makes you happy and be kind. Nothing else matters.