Featuring two dancing figures holding aloft a large dollar bill with the figure of a spiky haired Andy Warhol with Mickey Mouse ears, this work by Haring is representative of 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 the binaries of ‘good’ taste in an effort to bring art to the masses. He began his career by making art for the streets, from graffiti on city walls to white chalk drawings on the disused advertising panels of New York’s subway system. Soon he was known by critics and commuters alike, and his fame continued to grow. Always on the lookout for an alternative to the traditional gallery setting, Haring held exhibitions in nightclubs and painted works in ink on tarpaulin rather than presenting an oil on canvas in a white cube. This desire to break with tradition led to his opening of 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 in part influenced by the career of Warhol who was known to be fascinated by the possibilities of the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. Here, Haring pays tribute to the father of Pop Art in Warhol’s favoured medium, the screen print, as well as poking fun at the iconic artist’s inscrutable persona. The Mickey Mouse ears and shorts can also be read as a nod to Haring’s childhood; from a young age he began copying beloved Walt Disney cartoons with his father, which eventually led to him becoming an artist. A witty and striking comment on art and commercialism, this screen print is an important part of Haring’s catalogue raisonné as part of the Andy Mouse portfolio. Signed by both Warhol and Haring this is one of the rarer series in Haring’s oeuvre.