Retrospect is an edited survey of Haring’s series Pop Shop I-VI and features many of the artist’s most famous motifs, including barking dogs, dog man, angel and radiant baby. Made at a time when the artist was ailing from HIV/AIDS, Retrospect also includes several new images which do not appear in previous Pop Shop iterations and which were presumably intended for another series, tragically never realised. In an interview given a few months before his death in February 1990, Haring movingly talks about the new perspective his illness had given him as an artist:
'The thing about all the projects I am working on now…is that there is a certain sense of summing up in them. Everything I do now is a chance to put a crown on the whole thing. It adds another kind of intensity to the work that I do now; it’s one of the good things to come from being sick. If you’re writing a story you can sort of ramble on and go in a lot of directions at once, but when you get to the end of the story, you have to start pointing all the things toward one thing. That’s the point that I’m at now, not knowing where it stops but knowing how important it is to do it now. The whole thing is getting much more articulate. In a way it’s really liberating.’ (The artist, quoted in: D. Sheff, 'Keith Haring: An Intimate Conversation’, Rolling Stone, 10 August 1989, p. 102).