This special work is one of a series that was based on sumi ink paintings that Keith Haring took to the local blueprinters to produce large photostat copies. He exhibited the photostats at his first solo show in New York City at Westbeth Painter's Space (February 10-14, 1981).
He later came back to the original photostats shortly before he passed away, and used them to re-produce them all in a suite of large scale silkscreens on paper titled 'The Blueprint Drawings' which were published in an edition of 33, in 1990.
In his own words recounting the exercise: “These 17 drawings were created over a period of a few weeks between December 1980 and January 1981. The original drawings were executed on vellum with Sumi ink because I intended to make blueprint copies of each of the drawings. Periodically I would take my drawings to the local blueprinters, where I had much enjoyment trying to explain the content of these works to the men who operated the blueprint machines. After a few weeks, everyone in the shop was familiar with my drawings. This was also the time I began drawing in the NYC subways. The drawings were exhibited in a small gallery space at Westbeth Painter's Space. It was my first one-man exhibition in New York City. The exhibition lasted for one week, during which time I sold several blueprint copies of the drawings, but no original drawings. Since then many of the drawings have been sold and I don’t know their whereabouts. However, before I sold any of them I made photostats of each of the drawings. These prints were made from those stats. They form a perfect time capsule of my beginning in New York City.” [Keith Haring, Editions on Paper, 1982-1990, Littman (page 178 - image of silkscreen, 1990, ed. 33)].
The original photostats from this show, such as this one, are exceptionally scarce and important works from Haring's early career.