Andy Warhol, ‘Mao, Pink and Yellow by Andy Warhol’, 1972, Revolver Gallery

Title: Mao, Pink and Yellow II 91
Year: 1972
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.

Signature: Signed in ballpoint pen and numbered with a rubber stamp on verso.

About Andy Warhol

Obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production, Pop artist Andy Warhol created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. As famous for his quips as for his art—he variously mused that “art is what you can get away with” and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”—Warhol drew widely from popular culture and everyday subject matter, creating works like his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Brillo pad box sculptures, and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, using the medium of silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color. Known for his cultivation of celebrity, Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons, among countless others.

American, 1928-1987, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York