New York artist Deborah Kass has declared her support for Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton with a bold, Andy Warhol-style artwork. Under the face of the Republican presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, Kass has scrawled the words “Vote Hillary.” The work mimics Warhol’s iconic screenprint “Vote McGovern” (1972), where the title words, urging viewers to support Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern, appear under the face of Republican incumbent Richard Nixon.
“Thrilled to announce ‘Vote Hillary,’ my official fundraising screen print for HRC campaign,” Kass writes in an Instagram post from Sunday. In the work, Trump, his face colored in a pale blue, wears a characteristic sneer and appears against the same orange background that is featured in Warhol’s print.
“I first wanted to do a work like this in 2004,” Kass told artnet News by phone. At that time, George W. Bush was the incumbent and John Kerry the Democratic challenger. “There was no way to make it happen then,” she said, “but sometimes the perfect opportunity comes up at another point in your life. It’s always been in the back of my mind, but anyway, it wouldn’t have been as much fun with Mitt Romney. It’s the right image for the right election.”
In her feminist critique of art history, Kass has frequently drawn on iconic male artists of the 20th century, creating works that copy their trademark styles. Warhol has been a mainstay; she has executed self-portraits that ape Warhol’s images of Elizabeth Taylor, for example, and a work depicting Barbra Streisand in the 1983 film Yentl in the style of Warhol’s depiction of Elvis Presley. Kass, who is represented by New York’s Paul Kasmin Gallery, has work in public collections including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Jewish Museum, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Trump has provided a rich vein of inspiration that artists have mined deeply. To name just a few examples, New York artist Rachel Harrison devoted a recent show to the candidate; artist duo T. Rutt purchased a Trump campaign bus and turned it against the short-fingered vulgarian; and Mike Diva created a surreal Japanese anime-style parody campaign ad.
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