In 1986, Keith Haring was commissioned to produce a mural commemorating the 100-year anniversary of America receiving the Statue of Liberty from France. Over a period of three days at the Jacaob Javits Convention Center, hundreds of kids from all five New York City Boroughs were orchestrated and instructed by Haring to add their own contributions to the banner, a 2-ply fire retardant nylon that weighs 190 lbs, citing what they thought Liberty meant to them. Given the overt uniqueness of the banner's conception, it is often referred to as one of the most meaningful works of art in the entire Haring oeuvre. The completed banner debuted at Liberty Tower in Battery Park City over the 1986 Fourth of July celebration, and has subsequently been exhibited in Europe and throughout the United States.
This painting of Keith Haring's Statue of Liberty is a smaller version of the original 90x30 foot banner which featured Lady Liberty standing proudly with the tabula ansata in one hand, the torch in her other while beneath her is a crowd of Haring's signature caricatures painted in yellow, their arms above their head a they celebrate. There are some minute differences between the banner and the screenprint, the most notable being the arm that holds the torch. When Haring was drawing the banner, he made Lady Liberty's torch arm too long and it came out wobbly, which was not his original intention, however Haring and everyone else involved loved it.
The color screenprint Haring created in conjunction with the banner is a 37 3/4" x 28 1/4" depiction of Lady Liberty, sans the community involvement. This work is from the numbered edition of 100, and was published by Rupert Jasen Smith, New York. Awash in a vivid green, she stands tall and proud with her left arm stretched above her, noticeably the torch clasped tightly in her hand; the simplistic fire flickers above, gestural lines showing movement around the flame as it burns brightly and continuously. With one arm pressed at her side, poignantly holding the tabula ansata, a tableau that symbolizes law and bears the adoption date of the Declaration of Independence, “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI”.
Beneath the towering Lady Liberty are three iconic figures from Haring's oeuvre, cast in the same golden-yellow hue as the torch fire, present but not distracting to the overall composition as they dance and wave their arms high above their heads, curved lines of movement expressing movement and joy in a celebratory fashion. As they frame the bottom of the work, their limbs excitedly raised above their heads as they not only celebrate the commemorative statue, but mimic her outstretched hand. Our eyes are guided to follow the lines towards the center of the composition, where we can observe the stoic face of Lady Liberty as she casts her gaze beyond the forehead.
Painted in tandem with the CityKids foundation and over 1,000 young people from across the city, Haring created an emblematic scenario that brought together hundreds of people in his community to create an inspiring reminder of what liberty truly means.
What is the Keith Haring Statue of Liberty?
The Keith Haring Statue of Liberty was originally a collaborative work between the five bouroghs of New York, where Haring worked with 1,000 youths to create a 90 x 30 foot banner that depicted the ideas of liberty. The
Keith Haring Statue of Liberty screenprint was produced in a 4 color screenprint commemorating the Statue.
Why did Keith Haring create the Statue of Liberty?
In 1986 Keith Haring was commissioned to produce a mural commemorating the 100-year anniversary of America receiving the Statue of Liberty from France.
In What Year did Keith Haring create the Statue of Liberty?
Keith Haring Statue of Liberty was created in 1986, originally as a 90 x 30 foot banner that debuted at Liberty Tower in Battery Park, NY on July 4th, 1986. The screenprint was produced the same year with a limited run of 100 editions.