Dogs are an important motif in Keith Haring’s visual language, present in his works throughout his career. The upright, human-like dog character, like the one here, is often referred to as being inspired by the Ancient Egyptian god Anubis. Anubis weighed the hearts of the dead to determine where they would spend the afterlife. This power over human fate is reference by Haring in some of his works, and here the character is filled with a chaotic scene filled with many of Haring’s other ‘tags’ – biting and barking dogs, chained figures, dancers, monsters, technology, and babies.
Dog on Black
Keith Haring (1958 – 1990) was an American artist, and one of the leading figures of the graffiti art movement which emerged from New York in the 1980s. Haring rose to International acclaim after creating spontaneous chalk drawings on blank advertising spaces in New York subway stations. His work reflected a profound commitment to social justice and activism, raising issues that remain relevant today, including the AIDS crisis, racism, and environmental degradation. He was a champion for public access to art in his lifetime, and established the Keith Haring Foundation in 1989, which provides funding and imagery to charities working with AIDS and youth programmes, and brings his work to a wider audience.