Apocalypse 3

Apocalypse 3
Signed Print

Keith Haring

Screenprint, 1988
Signed Print Edition of 90
H 96cm x W 96cm

Critical Review

A giant phallus hangs over the scene of deformed figures, ‘devil sperm’, planes, army vehicles and a set of stairs that anchor the composition. The central image is a collaged 1950s-era magazine clipping showing a mother feeding her child, used by Haring to create a dialogue between dissimilar worlds and shock the viewer. Haring uses his linear style to draw on top of the image and contextualise the mother and child within the chaotic scene, notably adding mitre-like headdresses on the figures that renders the figures sacred. The image also shows the tail of the ‘devil sperm’ infecting the child’s milk bottle, alluding to the transmission of HIV from mother to child during the epidemic.

Producing a social commentary on the stigmas surrounding the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Haring’s line drawings directly relate death and danger to sexuality and promiscuity. By placing the clipping of mother and child within the print, Haring creates a jarring image that dissolves boundaries between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, and injects a moment of purity into the violent scene.