Howdy Doody (F. & S. II.263) is a screen print from Andy Warhol’s famous Myths series from 1981 that shows 10 images of fictional icons from American popular culture. In this print, Warhol depicts the popular freckle-faced marionette Howdy Doody from the children’s television show of the same name, aired from the 1940s through to the 1960s.
Unlike much of his other work that appropriate imagery from the mass media, the images in the Myths series are based on a reproductions of original Polaroid photographs taken by Warhol himself. Calling upon actors and friends to play the roles of these fantastical characters, Warhol went through an elaborate process involving make up and costumes to create the resulting dynamic prints. Taken form 1950s television and old Hollywood films, the series works to display a universal view of America’s once enthralling past. It is said that each character in the Myths Series is representative of a different component of Warhol’s personality.
Howdy Doody (F. & S. II.263) shows the fictional character in vivid primary colours set against a contrasting dark backdrop, providing the figure with an illuminous glow. Warhol also uses his trademark crayon-like line drawing to contour the image, emphasising the graphic style.