Title: Mao Complete Portfolio
Medium: Screenprint on Beckett High White paper
Size: 36″ x 36″
Details: Edition of 250 authenticated by the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, INC
Mao Complete Portfolio 90-91 by ANDY WARHOL
Andy Warhol’s Mao complete portfolio was printed in 1972 at Styria Studio, Inc., New York. A portfolio of ten screenprints printed on Beckett High White Paper, authenticated by the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, INC. Included in this portfolio are: FS II.90 to FS II.99.
Mao Complete Portfolio AS PART OF ANDY WARHOL’S LARGER BODY OF WORK
Warhol presents Mao Zedong in a style reminiscent of his celebrity portraits. He fuses together the image of totalitarian propaganda and the colors found in his celebrity art to demonstrate the cult of personality surrounding the Chinese ruler. He uses bright colors and applies them in a makeup-like fashion as a form of personalization, a sharp contrast to Communist ideologies, which shunned individualism. This juxtaposition is taken further by the number of variations Warhol made of this image.
After President Nixon’s 1972 visit to China, and the inevitable buzz it created in the press, Andy Warhol was inspired to create a series of prints that would immortalize the image of the Chinese leader, Mao Zedong. Warhol could see a blurry mirror image of US media to Chinese propaganda.There were parallels between the cult like following in the West to movie stars and Mao Zedong in the East. Seeing these in a strange likeness, Warhol produced his Mao series in a fashion reminiscent of his portraits of American celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. These color charged screen prints of Mao were further set apart by the layers of graffiti-like scribbles that were screened on separately, transforming Mao into a world wide pop icon.