Andy Mouse 1

Andy Mouse 1
Signed Print

Keith Haring

Screenprint, 1986
Signed Print Edition of 30
H 96cm x W 96cm

Critical Review

Depicting a spiky haired Andy Warhol wearing Mickey Mouse shorts and standing in a sea of dollar bills, this work by Keith Haring seems to epitomise the artist’s relationship with art and consumerism. Not one to be troubled by distinctions between ancient and modern or high and low, Haring eschewed binaries in an effort to bring art to the masses. He began by making art for the streets, whether graffiti on city walls or his white chalk drawings on the disused advertising panels of New York’s subway system. Soon he was known by critics and commuters alike, but he didn’t stop there. Always looking for an alternative to the traditional gallery setting, Haring held exhibitions in nightclubs and painted works in ink on tarpaulin rather than conform to the tradition of presenting oil on canvas in a white cube. This desire to break with conformity led to his opening the famous Pop Shop where fans could buy badges, t-shirts and prints featuring his playful designs for as little as 50 cents, ensuring his name found favour with kids as well as collectors.

This move towards commercialism was no doubt influenced by Warhol who became fascinated by the possibilities of the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction in the early 60s. Here Haring pays tribute to the father of Pop Art in Warhol’s favoured medium of the screen print, as well as poking fun at the older artist’s inscrutable persona. The Mickey Mouse ears and shorts are in turn a tribute to Haring’s beginnings as a young artist copying beloved Walt Disney cartoons with his father. A witty and striking comment on art and commercialism, this screen print is an important part of Haring’s oeuvre. Signed by both Warhol and Haring, the Andy Mouse series is one of the rarer portfolios in Haring’s catalogue raisonné.