Keith Haring, ‘Lucky Strike’, 1987, ArtWise

In 1987, the cigarette company Lucky Strike commissioned Keith Haring to design a suite of advertisements for the brand. Haring created nine drawings for Lucky Strike, from which the company selected five to be printed as limited edition silkscreen prints. Three of the designs, featuring the street artist’s signature expressive lines and dancing figures, were also released as posters. To humor his friends, Haring also created a tenth sketch for Lucky Strike that depicted a smoking skeleton. The executives at Lucky Strike weren’t too happy about that rendition, Haring noted in his journal.

These are offset lithographic posters from 1987. Signed in the plate and published by Albin Uldry in Switzerland.

Publisher: Albin Uldry

About Keith Haring

Bridging the gap between the art world and the street, Keith Haring rose to prominence in the early 1980s with his graffiti drawings made in the subways and on the sidewalks of New York City. Combining the appeal of cartoons with the raw energy of Art Brut artists like Jean DuBuffet, Haring developed a distinct pop-graffiti aesthetic centered on fluid, bold outlines against a dense, rhythmic overspread of imagery like that of babies, barking dogs, flying saucers, hearts, and Mickey Mouse. In his subway drawings and murals, Haring explored themes of exploitation, subjugation, drug abuse, and rising fears of nuclear holocaust, which became increasingly apocalyptic after his AIDS diagnosis. Alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, and Jenny Holzer, Haring is regarded as a leading figure in New York East Village Art scene in the 1970s and '80s.

American, 1958-1990, Reading, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York