Built from his own words and past interviews, a new Keith Haring film comes to the BBC

Woven together from interviews following his diagnosis with Aids in 1989, the BBC Arena film is an in-depth look at the artist.

3 July 2020
Reading Time
2 minute read


Airing tomorrow night (4 July 2020) on BBC Two will be a documentary on artist, activist and queer cultural hero Keith Haring. Titled, Keith Haring: Street Art Boy and directed by Ben Anthony, who won a BAFTA last year for his documentary on Grenfell, the film includes “exclusive, unprecedented access to the Haring Foundation’s archives,” says the BBC.

As 2020 marks 30 years since the artist’s unfortunate death, the BBC Arena film is a deep dive into Haring’s output. Whether it’s showcasing his “encyclopaedic collection of polaroids” or featuring appearances from Andy Warhol to Madonna, the film is a depiction of “the wild, creative energy behind some of the most recognisable art of the past 50 years.”

The basis of the film's narrative also features several interviews with Haring himself taken in 1989. Filmed following his diagnosis with Aids when the artist asked writer and art critic John Gruen to write his biography, Haring's own story leads the film built from “five days in the summer of 1989, [when] Keith gave Gruen in intimate and candid detail to the story of his life,” says the BBC. The film also features interviews with a number of the artist’s friends, family and collaborators, “from the sleepy Pennsylvania of his Youth to the mythic clubs of gay New York,” each sharing “their revelatory encounters, touching poignantly on the Aids crisis, which made a tragic icon of this life-affirming artist.”

Described by the BBC as “the definitive story of the artist in his own words,” this must-watch film will premier at 21.15 tomorrow evening, and is watchable on iPlayer afterwards.

GalleryBBC Arena: Keith Haring: Street Art Boy

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BBC Arena: Keith Haring: Street Art Boy

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Lucy Bourton

Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.


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