Chocolate Buddha 3

Chocolate Buddha 3
Signed Print

Keith Haring

Lithograph, 1989
Signed Print Edition of 90
H 56cm x W 69cm

Critical Review

Completed the year before Haring’s death, this series amalgamates the artist’s clear-line figurative style with more complex patterns to form highly abstracted images. Recalling styles of the ancient world such as Eastern Mandalas and Australian Aboriginal art, the Chocolate Buddha series also shows influence from the European Modernists such as Miro, Klee and Matisse. This is notable from the way in which the prints focus on flat, richly coloured shapes and patterns that play out across the image surface.

Chocolate Buddha 3 includes the ‘devil sperm’ motif, injecting the print with a focus on the threat of male homosexuality. This motif is seen in many other later works like the Apocalypse series (1988), where Haring directly correlates sexuality with death in his depiction of enormous horned sperm, a demoniacal personification of death in relation to the AIDS virus. In the later stage of his artistic career, themes around sex and HIV/AIDS dominated his work, just as it dominated Haring’s personal life after his own AIDS diagnosis in 1988.