The image of Donald Duck in Andy Warhol’s The New Spirit (Donald Duck) 357 comes from a Disney short about wartime propaganda and Disney humor. It encourages the public to pay their income taxes without complaining too much. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1943; Warhol created the print 42 years later. Like most of the images used in the Ads series, Warhol was commenting on the impact of mass media, and, in this case, the use of it for government gain. This was an entirely different type of marketing. In the image, Donald Duck is featured in the middle, in front of a repeated Donald, giving the sense that he is on the move.
The New Spirit (Donald Duck) 357 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
The New Spirit (Donald Duck) 357 is a part of a series of ten screenprints in the Ads series that exemplifies a form of advertisement for Warhol’s artwork. It blatantly acknowledges the commercial nature of American society and urges consumers to continue buying iconic imagery that will forever proposition them with a new and exciting product. The series took commonplace, iconic advertisements and elevated the product being marketed to the status of art. When viewed collectively, the series portrays the defining features of 1980s American culture confident and consumer driven. Alongside The New Spirit (Donald Duck) 357 were advertisements for Chanel, Apple, Life Savers, Mobil, Volkswagen Paramount, Blackglama (Judy Garland), Rebel without a Cause (James Dean), and Van Heusen (Ronald Reagan).