Andy Warhol, ‘Vote McGovern (FS II.84)’, Revolver Gallery

Vote McGovern 84 was created for the George McGovern Presidential campaign in 1972. Rather than portray McGovern in his piece, Warhol decided to represent the opponent in a negative light. Warhol’s demonic portrait of Richard Nixon, with blue skin and orange eyes leaves no doubt as to the artist’s political position, even without the graffiti scrawl on the bottom “Vote McGovern.” The vibrant reds and oranges surrounding Nixon’s face give the impression that he is erupting in flames.

Warhol had something in common with Nixon – he loved to video-tape and tape-record conversations with his friends, in person and on the phone. A few years ago, the Andy Warhol Museum exhibited a collection of Warhol’s personal Nixonalia -Watergate-themed Newsweek magazines, two Nixon hand puppets, and photos documenting wiretapping techniques. Warhol’s portrait of Nixon brings to mind Hunter S. Thompson’s comments about the 37th President, “Nixon [himself who] represents that dark, venal and incurably violent side of the American character…” (The Great Shark Hunt, p. 231)

Signature: Signed and numbered in ball-point pen 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