This signed screen print from 1988 is a limited edition of 100 from Keith Haring’s Growing series. Characteristic of the artist’s vivid figurative style, Growing I features an image of a ‘People Ladder’, one of Haring’s most recognisable motifs, representing a tower of 1980s breakdancers stacked on top of one another. Haring uses thick bold lines and flat saturated colours to produce an image that bursts with energy and vigour.
Haring was concerned with the idea of the democratisation of art and uses his positive visual language as a form of activism to raise awareness around important socio-political issues of the 1980s. The depiction of conjoined figures in the Growing series evokes a sense of community and the power of working together in a capitalist society where the idea of the individual is prioritised over society as a whole.
Growing 1 shows multiple figures stemming from the single individual to represent the way in which Haring sees a collaborative society that is freed from the constraining categories and divisions between gender, class, race and sexuality. Haring’s use of strong lines provides the print with movement as though the figures are dancing. The dancing figures clearly convey a sense of joy and community in a way that reflected the artist’s love of hip hop emerging in New York City in the 1980s.