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Dog

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Critical Review

A unique set of compositions, depicted in his trademark visual language, Dog shows one of Haring’s most iconic symbols, the barking dog. Showing one of Haring’s most iconic symbols, the barking dog, this series exemplifies the artist’s talent in conveying complex moral messages through succinct symbols and simplified figures.

Across the series each composition remains the same, differing only in colour and with Dog (yellow)and Dog (black) presented as semi-sculptural screen prints on plywood. Encompassed within the shape of Haring’s human-like standing dog figure is a chaotic scene of stick figures, televisions, dogs, humanoids and deformed animals, providing the viewer with a glimpse of Hell. The figures are shown devouring, having sex with and clambering on top of one another, with a devil-like figure spreading its wings at the top of the image. This dizzying frenzy of pictograms speaks to Haring’s feelings surrounding the socio-political events that characterised 1980s New York like the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the Cold War and crack epidemic.