Andy Mouse 4

Andy Mouse 4
Signed Print

Keith Haring

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

Critical Review

The final print in the Andy Mouse series features a perhaps disgruntled Warhol figure standing with his hands on his hips and wearing Mickey Mouse ears and shorts. His signature spiky wig and sunglasses help to identify this as the father of Pop Art, along with the bold colours of the screen print. The work can be read as a tribute to Warhol, whose influence on Haring was undeniable, and to the cartoons of Walt Disney which Haring began copying from a young age. It is perhaps these two factors that had the most impact on Haring as an artist and here they are joined in a celebratory image of energy and creativity.

The figure of Andy Mouse also features a dollar bill sign on his chest, representing both artists’ knowing relationship with commercialism. Not one to adhere to the distinctions between the so-called ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, Haring believed that art should be for the masses rather than the elite few. To this end he began his career by working in the street, painting murals for the enjoyment of passersby. Even as he achieved some critical and commercial success, Haring continued to make his art available to the everyman by opening a series of Pop Shops in which kids and collectors alike could shop for his signature works on badges, t-shirts and figurines for as little as 50 cents. This drive towards mass consumption was in part due to Warhol’s pioneering work in the 60s where he elevated screen printing from a commercial process to a fine art.

Haring began screen printing in 1983 after some initial experiments with lithography and began to work with publishers across the US and Europe, producing ever more inventive and daring work. Printed in an edition of 30, each sheet from the Andy Mouse series demonstrates an element of precision that shows the level of care with which he supervised the process.