This signed lithograph in colours from 1985 is a limited edition of 80 from Keith Haring’s Three Lithographs series. Three Lithographs 2 shows a portrait of a monstrous-looking creature with deformed features and its mouth open, showing its red tongue and uneven teeth. This print is rendered in Haring’s trademark linear style, exclusively in red, white and black.
Unlike much of Haring’s work that shows full-bodied stick figures, the head of the creature in this image takes up the entire composition. The portrait materialises from the left side of the print and faces the right with its features squashed into the rectangular-shaped frame. Inspired by ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the figure’s eyes are rendered as if viewed from the front whilst the rest of the face is in profile.
This print is typical of Haring’s lithographs that feature his celebrated simplistic drawings in outrageous and comical compositions. This print is depicted in a style that mimics children’s drawings but reveals a message that is entirely adult in tone. Haring produces a painterly quality to the print, notably in his use of red lines, that is a consequence of his use of lithography, a printing process that utilises ink on a pigment-repellent slab of stone or metal.