In 1983, Haring was commissioned to construct a poster for the 17th annual Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Untitled (1983) is a working study for the now iconic poster, comprised of three swirling figures with slinky like characteristics set in the classic Haringesque stippled and curvilinear framed picture plane. Haring, already a well known figure in the pantheon of Pop Art culture, culled on the early stylistic technique of his New York Subway Drawings to create the large scale study for the Jazz Festival's poster.
The New York Subway Drawings were the first works to capture the attention of the art world through a guerilla approach to art-for-the-masses. The unused advertising panels of New York's underground that peppered the subway walls became Haring's new canvas. He opted to use chalk as it proved to be a perfect medium to achieve his objective of the "continuous line." In contrast to the majority of the loudly colored paintings and sculpture he produced in the 1980s, Haring, seen here, returned to the medium that made him famous. The white chalk on panel technique employed to reflect the influence of his early subway drawing days.