Hold The Mao: 8 Revolutionary Revised Chairman Mao Posters
The late Chairman Mao Zedong, founding father of the People's Republic of China and global revolutionary icon, is still revered in China though the country has taken a radical turn down the capitalist road since his passing in 1976. These 8 revised and re-imagined Mao posters reference the Great Helmsman's impressive pop culture presence to sell consumer goods and more to today's well-washed & wealthy proletariat.
8) Propaganda For The Eyes & Ears
Mao was just 3 years in the grave when A&M Records released Propaganda, an 11-track compilation record featuring some of the record label's most promising New Wave bands. The Police and Joe Jackson fulfilled those promises, at least. As for the jaw-dropping front and back cover art by Brian Davis, it was included in poster form with copies of the album and over 30 years later it's still blatantly awesome. (Mao Zedong advertising poster image via Global Groove)
7) Mao Jordan
Sometimes instead of selling a product, the ad itself is for sale. Such is the case with Mao Jordan”, a limited edition of 100 prints signed and numbered by artist and illustrator Tavis Coburn. Revolution: just do it! (Mao Zedong advertising poster image via DormSlate)
6) The Citroen Hits The Fan
Nobody expects the Spanish imposition, especially when the problem is an ad for a French car company that offends sensibilities in China. The eye-catching early 2008 ad for Citroen cars pictures a scowling Mao Zedong and copy that reads “It's true, we are leaders, but at Citroen the revolution never stops.” The ad which ran in several Spanish newspapers was stopped, however, after Chinese state newspaper Global Times mentioned it in a scathing editorial. (Mao Zedong advertising poster image via MarketingDirecto.com)
5) Chairman Sanders?
While it's likely Mao Zedong would have enjoyed chowing down on Colonel Sanders' secret recipe during the dark days of the Long March, advertising the U.S.-based multinational would be considered a Great Leap Backward. “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun,” quoth the Chairman, not from a bucket of chicken. (Mao Zedong advertising poster image via Head-Fi)
4) MZ Phone Home
The origins of this poster aren't forthcoming but its purpose is clear: buy moar cell phones! A number of variations on this theme exist and creating them is a relatively simple matter, as Chairman Mao posed quite frequently with his hand extended. (Mao Zedong advertising poster image via China Mike)
3) Class Warhol-Fare
What do Mao Zedong, Marilyn Monroe and a can of Campbell's Tomato Soup have in common? They all were featured in silkscreen works by Any Warhol. It's interesting and somewhat ironic that Warhol's print of Mao dates from 1973, a time when the avant-garde artist entered a more entrepreneurial and commercial phase of his career. (Mao Zedong advertising poster image via Rusty Knuckles)
2) Karaoke Kommunism
This controversial advertisement for a Taizhou City karaoke club encourages people to celebrate China's National Day, and features an image of Mao Zedong wearing his army uniform and clutching a microphone while singing patriotic songs. The Taizhou City Commercial and Industrial departments were not amused, as the poster violates national laws against using the images of leaders of the nation and the CPC for commercial purposes. (Mao Zedong advertising poster image via Chinese-Tools)
1) Wok & Roll
KISS Army vs People's Liberation Army, who's gonna win? Better yet, make love and not war by combining the two, with Gene Zedong (or Mao Simmons) in charge. This incongruous yet insistent image comes to us courtesy of Greek radio station Galaxy 92FM. Other ads in the campaign feature Josef Stalin (“I bless America for Rock and Roll”) and Adolf Hitler (“Black People are the future of music”), two dudes who also wanted to crush the Euro in their day. (Mao Zedong advertising poster image via The Inspiration Room)
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