This signed screen print from 1983 is a limited edition of 100 from Keith Haring’s Fertility Suite series. Fertility 3 is a print that uses bright neon colours, dynamic composition and simplified form to communicate complex and troubling subject matter. The print shows Haring’s recurring motif of the dancing pregnant figure, recalling African fertility dances, surrounded by nine other dancing figures that appear to move with energetic bodily motions.
Along with other works in the series, Fertility 3 shows Haring’s fascination with babies and pregnant women, using the pregnant figure as an oversized central subject that works as a symbol of sacredness and hope for the future. However, through the use of jarring neon colours and agitated moving figures, Haring injects tension and anxiety to the otherworldly image. Furthermore, Haring uses dotted lines and circles on the body of the central figure to allude to the lesions of people with HIV/AIDS and the threat this poses to pregnant women.
The Fertility series is an example of the way in which Haring used his uniquely positive visual language as a form of social activism during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This print raises awareness of the high prevalence of HIV infection amongst pregnant women in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1980s, notably the transmission of the virus from mother to child