Said to be one of the last cohesive projects of the artist’s career, The Blueprint Drawings 5 is a print from Keith Haring’s The Blueprint Drawings series from 1990 and is a limited edition of 33. Using much of the same imagery from The Blueprint Drawings 4, this print features a collection of frames rendered in Haring’s trademark figurative style, showing snapshots of violence, drug use, sex, sin and death.
As with other prints in the series, Haring uses dots on the landscape of each frame to denote the otherness of homosexuality and illness, specifically AIDS and each image seems to convey the causes and effects of the disease. The Blueprint Drawings 5 is exemplary of how Haring uses a simplified visual language and syntax of symbols to communicate hard-hitting and explicit messages around HIV/AIDS, sexuality and death.
Produced as unique works on paper with Sumi ink, Haring originally displayed these works in a one-week exhibition in Manhattan in 1980 where not a single drawing was sold. However, he did find success in the sale of several blueprint copies of the original drawings and so revisited the subject in 1990, a month before his tragic death creating a portfolio of 17 screen prints of the original images.