At the very end of the Queeny Series
, I reduced the work to a simple “skeletal” version that focused on the portrait of the queen. I wanted to use another portrait to balance the existing Queen portrait. It needed to be a political figure with the same recognition and weight, something viewers wouldn’t have to work to get. The first person that came to mind was Mao Zedong.
During the time I spent researching socialist murals and the propaganda poster featuring Mao - I became convinced the image was inappropriate. So I started looking for an alternative. I ran across an article about the Coca-Cola Santa Claus campaign of the 50’s and was struck by the similarities in painting style and propaganda saturation.
The earliest combination uses a 50’s holiday card as the Santa source.. I loved the crazy eyebrows and eyes. In the later combos the selection of Santa’s red nose ( as the focus of integration) makes Mao look drunk, but the portrait really comes alive when the two are combined. In the end however I did not evolve this series, so it remains just an interesting cul-de-sac.