This signed screen print from 1988 is a limited edition of 100 from Keith Haring’s Growing series. Growing 4 shows a brightly coloured image of a number of stick figures conjoined and stemming from a single, central figure. The composition develops organically outwards and resembles the shape of a tree, the central figure acting as a trunk and limbs of the bodies like branches.
Haring was passionate about the democratisation of art and used 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 subverts the prioritisation of the individual in capitalist society and instead evokes a sense of community and the power of working together.
Like much of Haring’s later works, this print strikes a balance between pattern and figuration in such a way that it recalls the art of Australian Aborigines. Vibrant in its use of flat, contrasting colours, Haring produces a sense of rhythmic surface pattern in Growing 4. Notably, the figures appear as though break dancing, reflecting the artist’s love of 1980s hip hop and something that Haring became very interested in as a means to communicate joy and togetherness.