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Shafrazi Gallery Exhibition Poster

Shafrazi Gallery Exhibition Poster
Signed Print

Keith Haring

Lithograph, 1988
Signed Print
H 64cm x W 87cm

Critical Review

The poster was made shortly after Haring’s diagnosis with AIDS. Reflective of this diagnosis, Haring includes a photograph of himself as a baby inside a soap bubble. This cartoon acts as a metaphor for his own life which he knew was going to be cut short. Haring tragically died two years later in 1990. The print is rendered in bold colours. While the cartoons in the composition are in black and white, Haring includes splashes of vibrant colour through the inclusion of circles around the cartoon drawings. The bright orange text matches the colourful aesthetic.

Shafrazi Gallery Exhibition Poster captures Haring’s excellent draughtsmanship. Growing up in Pennsylvania, Haring’s artistic talents were apparent from a young age and his style was influenced by Walt Disney and Dr Seuss cartoons. Haring moved to New York in 1978 and in 1982 got a job at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery where the exhibition this print refers to was shown. The move to New York was pivotal in Haring’s artistic career. Haring loved the bustling city and was inspired by the street art, graffiti and hip-hop culture he witnessed there.

This print differs from others done by Haring which tend to favour bold and thick lines and intricate patterns formed from zig zags, swirls, curved and straight lines. At the bottom of the composition, a little figure can be seen, emblematic of Haring’s trademark visual language which he developed throughout his artistic career. Haring created various figures which he called ‘icons’ that reappear throughout his prints. Alongside the androgynous figure which can be seen in this print are crawling babies, winged people and barking dogs. Haring’s Icons series features some of his most recognisable motifs, which can also be seen in the Pop Shop series.