This signed lithograph from 1989 is a limited edition of 60 from Keith Haring’s Stones series. Characteristic of his artistic output at this time, the second print in Haring's series, Stones 2, shows a playful image with threatening undertones. The work shows a hand rising up from the bottom of the frame, the outstretched fingers becoming dancing figures with the middle finger appearing to hold off a striped snake.
Here Haring’s training in semiotics at the School of Visual Arts is evident, as is his early love for cartoons and street art. He employs bold lines, with his usual black line inverted here to white, creating a striking visual narrative that leaves a considerable impact on the viewer. As Werner Jehle writes, Haring’s prints “set signals for burning social issues. He found symbols for violence, money and sex, religion and racism. … many of Haring’s works could be called ‘wall newspapers’ because they comment on current events, even if they do so in allegorical figures and abstract formulas. From this point of view, he stands in the tradition of Jacques Callot and Goya …”
Printed in 1989, the Stones portfolio was made at the very end of Haring’s short life, during a time when he was producing ever more inventive and daring work in large quantities as a result of being tested positive for HIV in 1988.