Andy Warhol, ‘Van Heusen (Ronald Reagan) (FS 11.356)’, 1985, Revolver Gallery
Andy Warhol, ‘Van Heusen (Ronald Reagan) (FS 11.356)’, 1985, Revolver Gallery

Former United States President Ronald Reagan was featured in a series of advertisements for Van Heusen dress shirts while he was still an actor in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The iconic, clever, and ironic imagination of Andy Warhol found inspiration in the series of advertisements in juxtaposition with the former President. According to Donna De Salvo (2003) this series of screenprints for Warhol’s portfolio titled Ads 1985 are imbued with “slick and perfect surfaces” and “candy-coated renderings” characteristic of Andy Warhol’s pop art (Feldman p. 31).

Signature: Edition of 190, 30 AP, 5 PP, 5 EP, 10 HC, 10 numbered in Roman numerals, 1 BAT, 30 TP, signed and numbered in pencil. Portfolio of 10.

Andy Warhol began his career in commercial advertising. Warhol’s fascination with the commercial world continued throughout his career as an artist. Warhol created the Ads portfolio based on popular advertising campaigns and logos in Contemporary American culture. These advertisements were not simply a means to sell products, but had become an integral part of American culture. Warhol included the Paramount, Apple and Mobilgas logos, as well as advertisements that featured well known celebrities, such as Judy Garland in Blackglama Fur, and Ronald Reagan for Van Heusen apparel.

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