He also cut up and rearranged newspaper headlines to create new ones, like "Mob Flees At Pope Rally" and "Reagan: Ready To Kill." He copied these and plastered them all over the city.
"It was designed to ... show up in the city as part of the overall canvas and to make a point," Laughlin Bloom said. "People would see them and go, "'Is that a real headline?'"
His scrapbooks and handwritten journals reveal what he was reading, doing and thinking. In one entry, Haring expresses concern about computers. "Our existence, our individuality, our creativity, our lives are threatened by this coming machine aesthetic," he writes.
Haring took inspiration from artists Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock but also from graffiti artists Kenny Scharf, LA II (Angel Ortiz) and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The one Haring-Basquiat collaboration in the show is crudely executed on a discarded piece of plywood, probably from a construction site.
The exhibition also explores another little known aspect about Haring, as a curator and facilitator of other artists' work. He designed hundreds of flyers and press releases promoting ephemeral shows in clubs, empty buildings and other alternative spaces; these are reproduced in the exhibition as a wall collage.
"They're little gems in themselves," said Laughlin Bloom.
The exhibition runs through July 8. It is co-organized by Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center and the Kunsthalle Wien in Austria.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.