Lucky Strike by Keith Haring

Lucky Strike by Keith Haring

In 1987 the cigarette company Lucky Strike commissioned a series of advertising images from Keith Haring. The body of work depicts boxes of Luck Strike, the top-selling brand of cigarettes at the time, alongside some of the artist’s signature illustrations of human figures, bold lines and logos. Of the ten images created by Haring, five were selected to be sold as limited edition screen prints and three were released as advertisement posters. A tenth image was rejected by Lucky Strike as Haring controversially depicted a skeleton smoking a cigarette which the company were not pleased with.

About the Artist:

Keith Haring was an American artist and social activist responding to New York City’s street culture of the 1980s. His work is about birth, death, sex and war – very fitting for the period in which he lived and worked. Keith Haring was openly gay at a time when most non-heterosexuals kept their sexual proclivities behind closed doors. Part of Haring’s importance as an artist was how his art raised awareness of AIDS. Many of his works were featured in the Red Hot Organization’s efforts to raise money for AIDS research and AIDS awareness. Keith Haring himself died of AIDS in 1990 at age 32.

Haring was born and grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania with his parents and three younger sisters. His father, Allen Haring, was a cartoonist who may have been an inspiration for him to pursue his artistic talents and certainly influenced his son’s work.

The artist’s first work that garnered attention was his public art painted in the New York City subways. These renderings were more akin to Pop art than Street Art. Perhaps they could best be described as Pop Art on the street.It was at this time that his work “The Radiant Baby” became symbolic of the artist. This image, with its bold lines, vivid colors, and dynamic pose, expresses profound messages of life and unity.n 1980, Haring organized shows in New York City’s Club 57 and for the first time started drawing animals and human faces. He also pasted provocative collages around the city made from cut up and reassembled headlines from the New York Post.

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Artwork

Lucky Strike (Blue) (Littmann PP. 78) by Keith Haring
Lucky Strike (Blue) (Littmann PP. 78) by Keith Haring
Lucky Strike (Green) (Littmann PP. 77) by Keith Haring
Lucky Strike (Green) (Littmann PP. 77) by Keith Haring
Lucky Strike (Yellow) (Littmann PP. 78) by Keith Haring
Lucky Strike (Yellow) (Littmann PP. 78) by Keith Haring