Vote McGovern 84 by Andy Warhol 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 stating “Vote McGovern.” The vibrant reds and oranges surrounding Nixon’s face give the impression that he is erupting in flames.
Vote McGovern 84 by Andy Warhol as Part of His Larger Body of Work
Though Warhol was not in favor of Nixon, they did have something in common. Warhol 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, including 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). Warhol’s fascination with political and political figures is apparent throughout his work, with images of leaders such as Alexander the Great, Mao Zedong and Vladimir Lenin.