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Keith Haring Google Logo Celebrates Legendary Pop Artist (PICTURE)

Posted: 05/04/2012 9:32 am Updated: 05/04/2012 9:32 am

Keith Haring

Google remade its home page logo on May 4 to honor what would have been the 54th birthday of artist Keith Haring, who died of complications from AIDS on February 4, 1990.

After briefly attending the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh, Haring left for New York City, where he became an active member in the alternative arts scene and attended the School of Visual Arts. Graffiti art left its mark on the burgeoning artist, who eventually became known as the "Cezanne of the subways," according to the Washington Post.

The New York Times' obituary of Haring explains his unique take on underground art: "Instead of painting subway cars, he drew with white chalk on the black paper pasted on unused advertising spaces, working in a distinctive style that became widely known before anyone knew the artist's identity."

His cartoon-like drawings, perhaps the most famous of which depicts a crawling child radiating light (titled "Radiant Baby"), are reminiscent of Walt Disney and Dr. Seuss --but only vaguely. Catching the eye of pop culture icons, Haring collaborated with Madonna on her "In the Groove" music video, cultivated a mentorship under Andy Warhol and much more.

Haring also became committed to AIDS activism after being diagnosed in 1988. He founded the Keith Haring Foundation the following year, "its mandate being to provide funding and imagery to AIDS organizations and children’s programs, and to expand the audience for Haring’s work through exhibitions, publications and the licensing of his images," per The Haring Foundation's website.

Take a look at Friday's doodle:
keith haring

Flick through the slideshow to see some of our favorite Google doodles ever.

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  • Gideon Sundback

    In honor of the 132nd birthday of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/24/gideon-sundback-zipper-engineer-google-doodle_n_1448482.html" target="_hplink">Gideon Sundback</a>, one of the creators of the modern zipper, the search engine's home page sported a "fly" doodle that users could unzip manually.

  • SOPA/PIPA Protest

    On January 18, 2012, Google joined Wikipedia, Reddit and thousands of other sites for a c<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/18/sopa-pipa-google-logo-doodle_n_1212187.html" target="_hplink">ontent blackout in protest of proposed Congressional legislation</a> calling for strict enforcement of U.S. copyright law online. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) drew the ire of web users who feared these bills would lead to unchecked web censorship. As a result of the massive protest, key Congressmen who had previously supported the bills reversed their positions; SOPA and PIPA were tabled indefinitely.

  • Les Paul

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/09/how-to-play-guitar-on-google_n_873895.html" target="_hplink">Google introduced</a> a super cool doodle on June 9, 2011, an interactive electric guitar to honor the 96th birthday of legendary musician and guitar innovator Les Paul. The Google guitar could play 10 notes from users' computer screen.

  • Happy Holidays 2011

    On Christmas Eve 2011, Google posted a holiday-themed doodle that serenaded visitors with "Jingle Bells".

  • Mark Twain

    Google celebrated Mark Twain's 176th birthday on November 30, 2011, with a panoramic scene inspired by Twain's literary masterpiece <em>The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer</em>.

  • Burning Man

    The <a href="http://www.google.com/logos/logos98-3.html" target="_hplink">first-ever Google doodle</a> was a simple stick figure behind the second "O" in the logo on Aug. 30, 1998. It represented the founders' recent trip to the Burning Man festival.

  • Comic-Con

    One of the great and super nerdy Google doodles, this Jul 23, 2009 logo celebrates the annual Comic-Con conference.

  • Sir Isaac Newton

    On March 1, 2010 Google honored the 366th birthday of Sir Isaac Newton with its first-ever animated Google Doodle.

  • Happy Halloween

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/31/happy-halloween-google-doodle-pumpkins-video_n_1066989.html" target="_hplink">Google wished</a> users "Happy Halloween" Oct. 31 with a new video doodle that shows a team of crafty Googlers carving six enormous pumpkins to spell out the search engine's name.

  • Marie Curie

    On November 7, 2011<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/07/marie-curie-google-doodle_n_1079560.html" target="_hplink"> Google celebrated</a> what would have been the 144th birthday of the mother of radioactivity, two-time Nobel Prize winning scientist Marie Curie.

  • Jim Henson

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/24/muppets-google-doodle-jim-henson_n_979011.html#s371509&title=Jim_Henson_Google" target="_hplink">On Sept. 24, 2011</a> Google's homepage featured a medley of Muppets, honoring the 75th anniversary of the birthday of late Muppets creator Jim Henson. On the interactive logo users could play "puppeteer" by clicking on the colored circles beneath each of the characters, which opened their mouths, and the Muppets followed the cursor with their eyes when you moved your mouse. One of the characters would throw his glasses into the air, and another actually ate a fellow Muppet.

  • Freddie Mercury

    This Google Doodle went live for some on September 4, paying tribute to Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, who would have celebrated his 65th birthday on September 5.

  • Gumby

    Google's Oct. 12, 2011 doodle illustration featured a brightly colored interactive tribute to artist Arthur "Art" Clokey, who would have turned 90 on October 12. In place of the company's logo, red, yellow, blue and green balls of clay bounced around and sprang to life at the click of a mouse, in an homage to Gumby, Clokey's best known animated character.

  • Pacman

    In honor of Pacman's 30th anniversary on May 21, 2010, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/25/google-pacman-doodle-devo_n_588605.html" target="_hplink">Google gave its logo</a> over to the iconic arcade game with the first ever playable Google Doodle. The logo had 255 levels.

  • Martha Graham

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/11/martha-graham-dance-google-logo_n_860402.html" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> the 117th birthday of dancer Martha Graham -- known throughout the 20th Century as a pioneer of contemporary dance -- with an amazing animated doodle on July 11, 2011.

  • Roger Hargreaves

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/09/roger-hargreaves-google-logo-little-men-little-miss_n_859264.html#s276080&title=Little_Miss_Sunshine" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> what would have been the 76th birthday of Roger Hargreaves, creator of the "Little Men" and "Little Miss" series, on May 9, 2011. Google featured a colorful cycle of doodles depicting several of Hargreaves' animated characters, including Little Miss Sunshine, Mr. Tickle and Mr. Messy.

  • Google's 13th Anniversary

    Google celebrated its 13th anniversary on September 27, 2011, with a simple, birthday-themed doodle and a scrapbook-style doodle featuring the company's logo letters dressed in a birthday hats and sitting around presents and a birthday cake. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/27/googles-13th-birthday-doodle-logo_n_982798.html" target="_hplink">Check out more photos here</a>.

  • Mother's Day

    On Mother's Day May 8th, Google tipped its hat to moms everywhere with a spring-themed logo with a purple flower in place of the "L."

  • Royal Wedding

    Google celebrated the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 with a Google doodle depicting a festively illustrated panorama of Westminster Abbey, where the royal knot was tied.

  • Earth Day

    On April 22, Earth Day's 41st birthday, Google celebrated the occasion with a colorful animated doodle. Running your mouse over the illustration's playful animal characters brought the scene to life.

  • Charlie Chaplin

    On April 16, 2011 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/15/charlie-chaplin-google-doodle-_n_849587.html" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> what would have been the 122nd birthday of one of film's greatest stars, Charlie Chaplin, with a black and white video doodle.

  • Yuri Gagarin

    On 12 April 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to enter outer space. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/12/google-doodle-yuri-gagarin-first-man-in-space_n_847914.html" target="_hplink">Google's commemorative logo</a> was dedicated to Gagarin's flight into space.

  • John Lennon

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/08/john-lennon-s-birthday_n_756064.html" target="_hplink">Google celebrated</a> what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday on On Oct. 9, 2010 with the first-ever Google Doodle video. The video played a hand-drawn animated version of Lennon's song "Imagine."

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Filed by Catharine Smith  |