The Most Iconic Artists of the 1980s
Printed by Rupert Jasen Smith, New York, with his blindstamp. Published by George Mulder Fine Art, New York. Image: 36 x 36 in. (914 x 914 mm). Sheet: 37 7/8 x 37 7/8 in. (962 x 962 mm).
Executed in 1985-86, during an extremely fertile time for Keith Haring, Andy Mouse pays tribute to his close friend, hero and mentor, Andy Warhol, to whom Haring was introduced following his second exhibition in New York at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in 1984. This historic encounter between Warhol and Haring brought together their mutual fascination with an "Art for Everybody," and an admiration for Walt Disney, a man who inspired both artists. A friendship that developed almost immediately, Haring often visited Andy at the Factory and would trade works with him. Drawing on Warhol's legacy, and similar to Disney, Haring created a world for both adults and children, in which art became a visual vocabulary and one that could be shared with everyone, as seen here on the animated images of Andy Mouse. Believing that cartoon figures could be a component of fine art, and regarding Andy Warhol and Walt Disney as heroes, Haring's exuberant and enchanting Andy Mouse bonded together the work of these three significant artists.
Adapting of one the most internationally recognized and celebrated cartoon characters, Haring presents the viewer with his hybrid Andy Mouse cartoon. This large-scale set of four screenprints, evoking his wall drawings and subway posters, skillfully combines three different symbols of commerce – the dollar sign, Mickey Mouse and Andy Warhol -- with a deceptively simple palette of red, yellow, white and black, reintroducing the commercial colors of 1960s Pop.
Andy Mouse originated from a new body of work in which Haring focused on his passion for both drawing and mass production. Sharing with Warhol an understanding of the effect of mass media's visual dynamics, Haring intuitively understood that good mass media imagery could be seen at any size and still make a strong visual impact. By combining Andy Mouse with the repetitive use of the dollar sign, Haring brilliantly manipulates the concept of Pop into his own unique hand- drawn style.
Andy Mouse is a brilliant culmination of Haring's entire oeuvre . Its bold graphic quality, complex composition and glorious color are high water marks for the artist. Andy Mouse's large scale and brilliant postmodern referencing of Pop icons such as Mickey Mouse -- by way of Andy Warhol -- mark this as a seminal Haring work which remains relevant to contemporary art today.
Signature: Hand signed and dated by the artist and signed by the subject Andy Warhol in pencil.
Publisher: George Mulder Fine Art, New York
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
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