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"Untitled, 1982 (Cannibal)" is likely influenced by the artist Hieronymus Bosch as Haring often cited Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, 1503-1504 as a profound influence on his art, along with Dante’s Inferno. It also recalls the Cyclops of the Odyssey as well as Goya’s and Ruben’s depictions of Saturn Devouring His Son, and may even reflect the infamous Italian film from 1980 – Cannibal Holocaust. Haring’s ‘Cannibal’ is not one-eyed or blind though, he is fully-sighted and yet stares blankly ahead not even aware of his meal. There is something machine-like about this creature, possibly hinting at mindless consumerism or exploitation of the less powerful.
"Untitled, 1982 (Cannibal)" is a 38.5 x 50- inch sumi ink on paper signed and dated "SEPT.21 + K.Haring" on verso.
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.