The dog is one of Keith Haring’s most famous ‘tags’ – symbols he repeatedly incorporated into his works to form his own visual language. Sometimes the dog is more humanoid in form, and thought to be referencing the Ancient Egyptian god Anubis; sometimes they are DJs, dancers, policemen or family pets. Haring’s works carried strong social messages, and here the dog’s bark could be a call to action, or an instruction to pay attention to what’s happening around you.
Date of work
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.