The foundation of legendary street and visual artist Keith Haring claimed in court that a Florida-based company is selling counterfeit work featuring his namesake. The Keith Haring Foundation filed a copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit against Colored Thumb Corp. and company president Michael Rosen over a Miami art show that supposedly featured Haring’s original work in Federal Court on March 8 according to a report from Bloomberg.
Courthouse News Service also reported deeper details of the case involving Haring’s popular work, including statements from the complaint itself. “The overwhelming majority of the works featured at the show are not genuine Haring artworks. Rather, they are fakes, forgeries, counterfeits, and/or infringements,” reads part of the statement. Other points include that Rosen’s company acknowledged they were featuring false work on its website. In the Bloomberg report, a rep for Haring’s foundation attended the show and said at least eight of the 80 drawings were official.
Haring was a global star of the art world and also worked as an activist. Haring’s bold style combined elements of graffiti street and propaganda art, using his work to highlight issues in New York and his own life. As a designer, he worked alongside singers Madonna and Grace Jones and was active in the fight in equal rights for gays. Haring died from AIDS-related complications in 1990.
HIV/AIDS awareness group Red Hot Organization featured Haring’s work on the cover of its second album “Red Hot” series, Red Hot + Dance. Sports apparel company Reebok joined with the Keith Haring Foundation and released a special shoe line featuring Haring’s iconic artwork.
Check out the gallery to see some of Keith Haring’s work, including the Reebok collaboration on the following pages.