Keith Haring: Barking Dogs

Keith Haring’s “Barking Dog” motif—featuring colorful canines with their mouths open mid-yap—is one of the street artist’s most universally recognizable symbols, and remains a testament to his dedication to accessible art. “Art is nothing if you don’t reach every segment of the people,” he once said. The dog’s simple, cartoonish shape references Haring’s interest in Egyptian hieroglyphics—an example of how humans communicate their experiences through universal shapes and signs. Haring’s “Barking Dogs” can be found throughout his body of work, from early subway tags to merchandise sold in the artist’s Pop Shops. In 1990, just a few months before his early death, Haring chose to immortalize his “Barking Dog” motif alongside four of his most celebrated symbols in a series of lithographs titled “Icons,” …

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