Sunday, May 27, 2012

Keith Haring metal tooling

After we finished up painting our clay Claes Oldenburg inspired food, my 4th graders were introduced to the work of Keith Haring.  His work is a nice follow up to the work of the pop artists.  Despite the fact that Keith was in diapers when Andy Warhol and the other pop artists were first making a splash in the late 1950's, Keith's work very much reflects the energy and feel of the pop artists.  

Keith is truly one of my favorite artists and I acutely remember learning about him in school.  I even found the "Drawing the Line" video I had watched in high school on YouTube.  We watched a little bit of  it (we were unable to watch the entire thing due to some inappropriate content) and my students were able to see Keith start out as a graffiti artist getting arrested in the New York subway and see his rise to fame.

In the video they touch on the issue of symbiotics- the study of signs.  We took this idea of signs and created metal pieces of art.  I asked the students to choose a symbol or sign (they could use one of Keith's images if they wanted) and draw it into the metal using a pencil.  The backgrounds were to be made up of only lines.  The students then chose a color scheme and colored their metal square using sharpies.

It was a quick lesson and one of my favorites from the year.  Some students even requested that we have the metal available during our free art party (the last class of the year) so they can work with it again.  Love it!


  1. Very nice! Great idea - tooling foil works really well for Haring's style.

    Rina at

  2. Thanks Rina! I enjoyed your 'under the sea' repousee! The baby turtle one is especially adorable!