This signed screen print from 1990 is a limited edition of 60 from Keith Haring’s White Icons series. Barking Dog features a simplified image of a dog barking and is rendered without colour on white paper, with thick, squared-off outlines produced through the embossing technique.
As a symbol that frequently occurred throughout Haring’s work, what later became recognised as a dog first began as an unidentifiable creature in his subway drawings from the early 1980s. Often depicted standing on two feet, Haring’s dog symbol is understood to be an imaginary representation of authoritarian government and people who hold power, with the image sometimes looking like a human being with a dog’s head.
Barking Dog exactly mimics Haring’s Barking Dog print from his Icons series (1990) that has a vivid red backdrop to convey a sense of urgency to the viewer. Haring used these simplistic symbols to communicate socio-political injustices and turmoil of the time, particularly making clear his disdain with the 1980s US government under President Ronald Reagan. Despite being void of colour, Barking Dog sparks a sense of urgency in its sharp, angular lines and thus cautions the public of oppressive government and those in power.