Picasso's (Red) Tongue, 1985
Signed and numbered from an edition of 80
40 × 32 inches (101.6 × 81.3 cm.)
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Keith Haring rose to prominence in the New York City art scene as a pop and graffiti artist during the politically and socially turbulent 1980’s. Initially creating simpler images, with emphasis on clean lines and bold colors, he quickly evolved to use his unique iconography to examine difficult issues of the time, incorporating politics and news headlines in his work. Haring ran in the same eclectic circles as many other controversial emerging artists, from Madonna to Basquiat. His life inspired his art – among the most prominent themes in his work were expressions of homosexuality and the AIDS epidemic, from which he would unfortunately die at the young age of 31. Recognized as a prominent social activist and LGBTQ advocate, Haring’s imagery is part of the 20th century visual language.
Starting with one spontaneous movement, ignoring any planning or sketching, Keith Haring’s drawing style has been long compared with that of Pablo Picasso. Picasso’s Red Tongue takes this stylistic connection to an iconographic level, recreating the gruesome, horrific and painful expression of Picasso’s war masterpiece, Guernica.