With his universally recognised abstract human silhouettes: thick black lines imbibed with frantic movement and kinetic vitality, Keith Haring is the undisputed godfather of modern street art whose inimitable legacy – honed in New York’s East Village and exported globally – is honoured by Lacoste via a new capsule collection.
Transposed across polos, shirts, sweatshirts, dresses and swimsuits, Haring’s illustrations have lost none of their potency since first appearing on the streets of New York over thirty years ago. From Barking Dog to his Heart drawings (the former being one of Haring’s most recognisable tags), the collection offers a snapshot into the visual language of motifs and icons Haring partially developed from a long-standing interest in Egyptian hieroglyphics. The dog, itself a recurring feature of Egyptian iconography, was for Haring a representation of oppressive power and state control, sometimes combined with a human form and almost always on a red background. His Heart drawings meanwhile, though significantly quieter than his later, more explicit works, were nonetheless bold statements on homosexuality in an era where they were needed most.
Speaking on his visual inspiration and interest in symbology at the time, Haring said,“I am intrigued with the shapes people choose as their symbols to create language. There is within all forms a basic structure, an indication of the entire object with a minimum of lines, that becomes a symbol. This is common to all languages, all people, all times.”
The collection will be available online and in stores from 27th March.