Keith Haring was born in 1958 in Reading, Pennsylvania and grew up in nearby Kutztown, Pennsylvania. At a young age, he showed a penchant for line drawing, and admired the pop culture imagery of Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney. He attend the Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh for two semesters and eventually enrolled at the School of Visual Arts in New York. It was in late-1970s and early-1980s New York that Haring's personal style developed. There he discovered a thriving artists' community that seemed to exist outside the world of galleries and museums. Influenced by graffiti writers and street art, he honed what would become the signature appearance of his work: the heavy use of line, vivid fields of color, and simplified humanoid and geometric forms. Throughout the 1980s, Haring achieved international recognition for his images, taking part in over 100 solo and group exhibitions. In 1986 he opened the Pop Shop in Soho, which sold shirts, posters and other memorabilia bearing his images. Today his work is instantly recognizable, as it had been sought by artists and performers such as Andy Warhol, William Burroughs, Yoko Ono, and Madonna. Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, and died two years later.