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Fertility 4

Fertility 4
Signed Print

Keith Haring

Screenprint, 1983
Signed Print Edition of 100
H 104cm x W 120cm

Critical Review

Fertility 4 shows a bright pink figure covered in yellow dashes squatting in the centre of the work, with its arms around two pregnant figures shown in black and outlined in neon yellow. Due to the dashes on the figure’s body the central figure represents HIV/AIDS in this print and has a threatening presence. However, Haring includes an ankh cross, the Egyptian hieroglyphic for ‘life’ at the centre of the figure's stomach, thus presenting the paradox between the celebration of life and living with HIV/AIDS.

Though trapped by the grasp of the menacing central figure, the two pregnant figures can be seen high-fiving and dancing, emphasised by Haring’s use of bold rounded lines to cultivate a sense of energy and movement. The resulting image celebrates the fertility of the pregnant figures, underscored by the presence of Haring’s radiant baby symbol in the bottom right corner, as well as a caution to the perils of HIV/AIDS and how it affected pregnant women and their children in certain parts of Africa throughout the 1980s.