Both of these street art pieces are of the late Keith Haring who was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on May 4th, 1958. The street artist responsible for these pieces is Peat Woellager from St. Louis. So who exactly are Peat and Haring and what is the connection?
Keith Allen Haring was an artist and social activist whose work responded to the New York street culture of the 1980s using the concepts of birth, death, sexuality and war. He started off studying commercial art from 1976-1978 at Pittsburgh’s Ivy School of Professional Art. At the age of 19, in 1978, Haring moved to New York and inspired by the graffiti art scene, he enrolled in Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts where he majored in Painting. Unfortunately in 1988, Haring was diagnosed with AIDS. He established the Keith Haring Foundation in 1989, its mandate being to provide funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children’s programs. He lost his courageous battle 24 years ago, on February 16, 1990.
Examples of Haring’s work is on display in collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, the Bass Museum Miami, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, Ludwig Museum Cologne, and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Street artist Peat Wollaeger aka Eyez, stenSOUL and Mr. Peat, is known for his colorful stencil portraits and large scale murals. A man from St. Louis, Wollaeger, who is entirely self-taught, initially began stenciling. He is quoted as saying: “I don’t know exactly how to define the word ‘soul,’ but I know that we all have one. Even if we don’t know we have one.”
In 2008, in Miami’s Wynnwood Walls neighborhood, Wollaeger created a large portrait of his idol, Keith Haring. Both of these examples are of Wollaeger’s reverence to Haring.
I’ll leave you with a little thought-provoker: “So, if the the “Eyez” are windows to your SOUL…Open Yours!”
You can follow Peat Wolleaer via Facebook go to: https://www.facebook.com/peateyez or http://stlcurator.com/peat-wollaeger-st-louis-artist/