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Edward Kennedy 1980 (F. & S. II.240)

Edward Kennedy 1980 (F. & S. II.240)
Signed Print

Andy Warhol

Screenprint, 1980
Signed Print Edition of 300
H 102cm x W 81cm

Critical Review

Unlike earlier portraits of John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy that were appropriated from mass-media images, this image of Edward Kennedy is based on a Polaroid photo taken by Warhol himself. The artist retains much of the original quality of the photograph and does not abstract the image with blocks of colour, as he does with many other celebrity portraits.Through using his traditional screen printing method, Warhol succeeds in creating a grainy quality to the image that is reminiscent of mass media imagery. This portrait is one of only two prints that Warhol created of the politician and left largely untouched in black and white, shows a sympathetic portrayal.

Warhol adds to the image with his trademark hand-drawn lines that render Kennedy into a Pop Art figure, using red and blue against the black and white photograph. This incorporation of colour works to invoke a sense of patriotism in its suggestion of the American flag, whilst the outlines also work to enhance Kennedy’s facial features.