Printed in 1986, John Wayne (F. & S. II.377) is a signed screen print by Andy Warhol on Lenox Museum Board that depicts a portrait of famous actor, John Wayne, who rose to fame through his starring role in Hollywood Westerns. The print is rendered in unconventional bright colours against a white backdrop, with hand-drawn gestural lines delineating the contours of the portrait. John Wayne is presented in character as a cowboy, donning a Stetson, neck tie and pointing a revolver to the right of the composition, where he appears to be glancing.
John Wayne (F. & S. II.377) is part of the Cowboys And Indians series, composed of ten graphic screen prints. Instead of portraying Native Americans within their historical landscape or real Cowboys, in this series, Warhol opted to depict archetypal figures and objects that capture America’s romanticised and ahistorical vision of the American West. By depicting Hollywood actor John Wayne, known for his role in Westerns, Warhol makes a political comment on the way in which popular culture distorts history and disseminates inaccurate representations.
The print was made using Warhol's signature screen printing method. The screen printing technique is known for its capacity to mass-produce imagery to be widely distributed, which mirrors the wide-reach of Hollywood Western films. While the print does not capture, with historical accuracy, what the American West was really like, it does reflect the way this region was imaged in the minds of people who avidly consumed Western films, which captures Warhol's fascination with popular culture.