All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Jessica K Dallow

Advisory Committee Members

Heather McPherson

Rachel Stephens

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2016

Degree Name by School

Master of Arts (MA) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

In 1972, Pop artist Andy Warhol was asked by the Democratic National Convention to design a poster for the campaign of George McGovern in his race against presidential incumbent Richard Nixon. The final print was produced in an edition of 250 prints and sold at auction with the proceeds donated to McGovern’s campaign. The work commands almost immediate attention as it depicts not George McGovern, as might be expected, but his opponent President Richard Nixon. Nixon’s head consumes the greater portion of the print and looms over the scrawled text, “VOTE MCGOVERN.” Nixon’s eyes are yellow and his face green while he wears a red and pink-colored tie and blazer. An unsettling orange color fills the background of the portrait creating a distinctly negative depiction of Nixon that deserves further analysis. This thesis seeks to provide that analysis and answer the questions prompted by the odd format and presentation of content composing Vote McGovern. It looks specifically at the print as a revealing document of Warhol’s own political beliefs that are present throughout his artwork. It accomplishes this by relating Warhol’s earlier work to Vote McGovern to show political themes already being used by Warhol. It then evaluates the print itself and compares it to his later work to illustrate how common elements and aesthetic approaches exist throughout Warhol’s oeuvre. While Warhol himself did not give much information regarding his personal political beliefs, Vote McGovern unveils Warhol as the politically-minded artist depicting his ideas and opinions through his art from the beginning of his career to the end.

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