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Keith Haring was an artist that intertwined social activism into every piece of work he produced. Unafraid to bring controversial topics such as sexuality, racism, and socioeconomic disparity into the forefront, Haring is still regarded as one of the most recognizable artists of the 20th century. Inspired by the cartoons of his childhood, His artistic style was deceptively simple, spontaneous, and universally relatable in its iconography; he was a naturally visual storyteller. His characters were often repeated again and again in endless permutations, emphasizing specific themes through bold colors and patterns. Unfulfilled by commercial or corporate artistic environments, Haring decided to make the city of New York his canvas and strived to make his work as accessible for the public as possible. Through his community-based aspirations, Haring opened the ‘Pop Shop’, toured the globe, and became a prominent figure in the ‘Art Underground” where he met like-minded peers and colleagues, such as Jean Basquiat and Andy Warhol.
“Andy Mouse, 1986 (#1)” is the synopsis of a friendship that, through their collaboration and unique talents, became two of the central faces of the Pop art movement. “Andy Mouse, 1986 #1” is a reoccurring ‘character’ Haring would use throughout the ’80s, appearing in different colors and surrounded by ‘$’ signs’. A nod to his colleagues artistic, yet commercial, successes. “Andy Mouse, 1986 (#1)” shows Warhol, with his signature ruffled grey hair and colored sunglasses in a mouse-like form; Wide, circular ears, a thin-curled tail, and wearing Mickey-esque double button trousers. The pale blue shade is unique to this work, as it stands in stark contrast to a bright red background. Green Dollar bills are drawn piling around him and covering his thin cartoon legs and feet. Short black ‘motion’ lines decorate the piece, almost wiggly the piece to life. “Andy Mouse, 1986 (#1)” is a 38 x 38 – inch, hand signed silkscreen and is numbered 8/30.
Keith Haring was a social activist and artist who wasn’t afraid to depict and publicize controversial topics such as war, sexuality, life, and death with his art. Haring used New York City - the walls, stations, and buildings - as his canvas, creating masterpieces for the public eye. His signature cartoon style combined his outspoken political and social activism place Haring amongst the legends in the art world. Born May 4, 1958, in Reading, Pennsylvania, Haring grew up fascinated by the cartoon art of Walt Disney, Charles Schultz, and even Dr. Seuss. Haring’s father also drew cartoons as a hobby in his free time, inspiring a young Haring to perhaps make his own one day. Eventually, as a grown man, he moved to New York City to enroll at the School of Visual Arts. It is there Haring found his artistic peers and social niche and became acquainted with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf, among other individuals in the underground art scene.