Lucky Strike is a 1987 screen print by Keith Haring that belongs to a series of nine ink drawings occasioned by the commission received by the artist from the top-selling cigarette company. Asked to create designs that could be used for advertising purposes, Haring provided the brand with a portfolio of playful works featuring his signature use of bold lines and simplified human figures alongside the logo of Lucky Strike. Upon completion, three of the drawings were released as posters and five others were screen printed on art stock paper by Serigraphie Uldry Bern of Switzerland. An additional, tenth drawing created by Haring towards the end of the project depicted a skeleton smoking a cigarette and was deemed by the company as too controversial.
The print depicts the Lucky Strike packaging with cigarettes protruding from the box in swirling shapes. A hand rendered in orange touches the box on the edges, holding it from the bottom. The Lucky Strike box, cigarettes, and human hand, as the main elements of the print, are all outlined in bold black lines, the use of which became Haring’s trademark already at an early stage of his career associated with such works as Untitled (1982).
Like all screen prints in the series, Lucky Strike was signed in plate by the artist. Similarly to works included in Absolut, Haring’s first series created for brand advertising purposes, the recognizable cartoon-like imagery is accompanied here by a vibrant colour palette. The print juxtaposes white, orange, and red elements against a blue background, a combination evocative of the creative energies of the 1980s street culture that inspired Haring across his career.