Title: Mao, Pink and Yellow II 91
Medium: Screenprint on Beckett High White Paper.
Size: 36” x 36”
Edition: Edition of 250, signed in ballpoint pen and numbered with a rubber stamp on verso.
Andy Warhol created this screenprint of Mao Zedong for his 1972 portfolio featuring the former Chairman of the Communist party of China. Reminiscent of the artist’s celebrity portraits, Warhol puts a pop art twist on the image of totalitarian propaganda by depicting Mao in vivid colors typical of his celebrity portraiture. In Mao 91, Andy depicted the Chinese ruler with a powder blue face and pink lips that match the background and draws the eye to subjects. Warhol used light pink accents in a make-up-like fashion around Zedong’s face and on his eyelids, giving the impression that the Communist leader is wearing eyeshadow. Andy then dressed Mao in a bright yellow shirt and decorated the portrait with black squiggly lines, used to demonstrate the cult of celebrity that surrounded the Communist Chairman. The image is a sharp contrast to the Communist ideologies Mao represented, which rejected individualism. Andy Warhol took this juxtaposition further by creating the portraits of Mao Zedong in ten different color variations, typical of the pop artist’s method of repetition.