This work is one of a series of silkscreen prints of Mao Zedong (spelled “Tse-Tung” in older transliterations). Warhol created it the year Richard Nixon made his historic visit to China, a visit that ended twenty-five years of estrangement between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. The trip also provided the American public with their first images of China in over two decades.
Warhol became famous for his manipulated images of objects of mass-consumption, such as Campbell’s soup and Marilyn Monroe, and here he treats Mao like an icon of popular culture too. In some ways Communist regimes—in this case the Chinese—did in fact produce something comparable to Western consumer goods and Hollywood film stars: namely, an ideology and its representatives, which were ubiquitous and—voluntarily or not—consumed by the entire population.
portraits; Political commentary; political posters; Chinese; historical figures
Link to share this object record: