Absolute Haring is a poster from Absolut Vodka’s iconic ad campaign from 1986 that featured this work by Haring as well as works by Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst. This signed lithograph from 1986 is a limited edition of 100 by Haring and shows the Absolut Vodka bottle rendered in Haring’s trademark bold lines, surrounded by a crowd of genderless figures. Haring uses bold red outlines against a bright yellow backdrop that sets a contrast against the blue Absolut logo.
Inspired by Andy Warhol, Haring engages with advertisement and commercial imagery to elevate products of mass consumerism to the realm of high art. Using the Absolut logo as the poster’s centrepiece, Haring juxtaposes pure imitation with his distinct artistic style so as to blur the line between high culture and consumer product imagery. As a design that is taken for granted on the supermarket shelf, Haring presents this consumer product as an object for observation in the art gallery context.
Through his use of rich, block colours and bold outlines, Haring transforms the subject of consumerism into an iconic piece of fine art from the 1980s. In using his clearly coded visual vocabulary in the poster, including the iconic image of a crowd of figures that has come to represent a mob easily led astray by false dictators, Haring makes a poignant comment on the effects of consumer culture on the masses.