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Jim Dine, Drag - Johnson and Mao, a photo-etching with stencil colour
United States of America, AD 1967
Two world leaders
President Lyndon Johnson of the U.S.A. and Chairman Mao of China, the two most powerful leaders in the world at the time, are sent up as a pair of flamboyant drag queens. President Johnson was then embroiled in the Vietnam War, which was provoking increasing opposition in America and elsewhere, while Chairman Mao had imposed his Cultural Revolution in China. In classic Pop Art style, Dine appropriated newspaper photographs of the two men as heads of state which he then blew up to a large scale and separately photo-etched. The different type of dot from which their heads are constructed can clearly be seen here. Colour was applied through stencils to suggest the heavy make-up on their faces.
This print was produced in London where Dine (born 1935), an American artist, was living from 1967 to 1971. It is perhaps Dine's most overtly Pop Art print and certainly one of the most political he has made.
F. Carey and A. Griffiths, American prints 1879-1979 (London, The British Museum Press, 1980)
M. Livingstone, Jim Dine: the alchemy of image (New York, Monacelli Press, 1998)
J. Dine, Complete graphics (Berlin, Galerie Mikro, 1970)