'The reason Keith Haring is such a great artist is that his art does not rely on the whole art-historical tradition and issues that art critics toss about as a framework. It's an art that's free and direct. A lot of artist's today are steeped in all this heavy criticism and philosophy - and they're looking to the luminaries of the previous generation, trying to come up with a formula that has all the intellectual support that's needed. The point is that most of what you see downtown is hopelessly constrained by academicism. Keith just broke through all that'
(J. Deitch, quoted in J. Gruen, Keith Haring. The Authorized Biography, New York 1991, p. 125).