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Mao (F. & S. II.94)

Mao (F. & S. II.94)
Signed Print

Andy Warhol

Screenprint, 1972
Signed Print Edition of 250
H 89cm x W 89cm

Critical Review

Warhol’s use of colour in this Mao print works within the aesthetic of Western kitsch and alludes to the appearance of makeup on Mao’s face. Light pink is added to enhance the lips of the statesman and his darkly coloured mole is reminiscent of Marylin Monroe’s beauty mark. In the suggestion of makeup and use of fluorescent colours, Warhol makes a statement on the false veneer that the original propaganda image attempts to portray and at the same time revitalises Chairman Mao as an unlikely Pop icon to be distributed as an image in the mass-media.

Relying on his typical method of screen printing with the aim of mass-production, Warhol reflects the wide distribution of Mao’s image in communist China whilst also comparing this to the obsessive production of mass-media images in capitalist America. The result is a humorous social commentary on these opposing systems of power during the political tensions of the Cold War.