“The drawings I do have very little to do with classical, post-renaissance drawings, where you try to imitate life or make it appear to be life-like,” Haring said. “My drawings don’t try to imitate life; they try to create life, to invent life.”
A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe. Haring often referenced the totem within his work as a way to capture the spiritual and sacred significance of the community in which he belonged to.
In 1990, the year before his death, Haring published a series of pyramids. These rare screen prints are printed on anodized aluminum features dozens of the artist’s iconic characters dancing in a celebration of life. Arranged within a large pyramid, the exuberant figures are rendered in bright colors against an equally rich background. The pyramid was a common theme in Haring’s work, simultaneously referring to antiquity and symbolizing eternity.
Within these works Haring returned to his signature figures and symbols. His kinetic characters offer a linear style, Haring’s pyramids and totems presents a stunning display of the artists graphic sensibility.