This signed screen print from 1983 is a limited edition of 100 from Keith Haring’s Fertility Suite series. As the second work in the suite, Fertility 2 features a neon, extraterrestrial landscape that conveys themes surrounding life, death and illness. Using bright neon colours of pink, red, green, orange and yellow to form a landscape against a black backdrop, Fertility 2 has a futuristic character that is charged with tension.
The print’s central subject is a brightly coloured and spotted ancient Egyptian pyramid, a common motif in Haring’s work that symbolised both antiquity and eternity. Haring’s allusion to the mysteries of ancient civilisation are juxtaposed with the imagination of extraterrestrial civilisation through the depiction of UFOs that have come to represent positive energy and empowerment to those who are situated outside of accepted social norms.
Haring’s use of dashes, dots and large spots are used to allude to the lesions of people who live with HIV/AIDS. This landscape is seemingly overwhelmed by the disease and threatens the pregnant figure in the bottom left hand corner, whilst the unaffected UFOs attack the sacred monument in the centre. Haring was a prominent HIV/AIDS activist and Fertility 2 represents the saving of children and humanity from the horrors of illness and inactive leadership.