Andy Warhol’s print Jane Fonda (F. & S. II.268) is a portrait from 1982 of the eponymous actress who later in her career used her fame to devote much of her time to political activism. Much like other works such as Mildred Scheel (1980) and Kimoko (1981), this particular print was offered by Warhol to contribute to a charitable fundraiser Fonda’s husband, Tom Hayden. By the 1980s, Warhol’s commissioned portraits were in high demand and were often used as a means to raise money.
Telling of his fascination with the concept of fame, this portrait immortalises Fonda as the celebrity sex symbol of her time, who remains part of American pop culture today. Characteristic of Warhol’s late graphic style, Fonda’s voluminous hair is contoured by multicoloured hand-drawn lines and a dark rectangle frames the actresses face. This composition works to focus entirely on Fonda’s beautiful facial features as Warhol adds a pop of red to her lips and bright blue to her eyes. Set against a royal blue background, this portrait exudes elegance and glamour.
Reminiscent of Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor series (1964) this print exemplifies the power of Warhol’s simplified, graphic style that hinted at notions of immeasurable celebrity and unattainable beauty. By using the method of screen printing whereby the print can be distributed widely, Warhol democratises the image of fame. This is compounded by the fact that this particular print Jane Fonda (F. & S. II. 268), was created with the intent of raising money for a charitable cause.