Presented in the format of a children’s storybook, The Story Of Red And Blue 17 is a print from Keith Haring’s The Story Of Red And Blue series from 1989. This signed colour lithograph is a limited edition of 90.
Representative of Haring’s desire to create a visual language that appealed to both children and adults alike, the series is formed of a variety of simplified images reminiscent of children’s fictional characters. Throughout the series Haring limits his colour palette to bright red and blue and renders each image in his distinctive linear style with black rounded lines.
The Story Of Red And Blue 17 shows an abstracted portrait of a woman wearing neck rings, a tradition of some African and Asian cultures to create the appearance of an elongated neck. This image is representative of Haring’s debt to non-western artistic traditions, however his depiction of the abstracted face is also reminiscent of the Western modernists such as Picasso.
Across the first half of the series, each print alternates in colour between red and blue and by this point in the series, the two colours appear together in the prints. In each print Haring uses simplified and generic pictograms to produce the effect of a children’s story book without a sensical storyline, where instead the story seems to focus abstractly on the colours red and blue.