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Rebel Without a Cause (James Dean), from Ads

1985
20th century
96.5 cm x 96.5 cm (38 in. x 38 in.)

Rupert Jason Smith Printer
Andy Warhol (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1928 - 1987, New York City) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: North America, American
Medium and Support: Screenprint printed in nine colors from nine screens
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1985
Accession Number: 1985.58.7/10

Warhol employs the visual structure of mass media communication to comment upon the cultural and economic forces underlying the circulation of words and images. In Rebel Without a Cause, the artist appropriates and transforms a James Dean poster selling Hollywood and a nostalgia for 1950s America to a Hong Kong audience. His overlay of caustic, neon colors heightens the visual potency of both the image and the ideograms, at the same time it underscores the youthful alienation and rugged individualism embodied by James Dean's film character and promoted as quintessentially American.

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