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Someone Made Andy Warhol's 'Chairman Mao' into Salad

Artist, novelist, and dancer Elen Ghulam has turned the Pope of Pop's iconic Mao screen print into a crunchy, nutritious snack.
January 16, 2015, 9:00pm
GIF by Beckett Mufson via

I've never ordered a Russian salad, but if more establishments made them like Elen Ghulam does, I might be forced to. Ghulam is an artist, novelist, and dancer whose taste, informed by greats like Andy Warhol, have led her to devise Batman BruschettaSnake Pizza, and the ultimate ode to the Pope of Pop: a Russian salad rendition of his famous Chairman Mao print.

"I read somewhere that Andy Warhol was fed Campbell’s soup everyday for lunch by his mother. Have you ever tried Campbell’s soup? …… It tastes dreadful. Both Andy Warhol and myself have Czech mothers, I am not going to tell you what I was fed for lunch nearly everyday while little. Suffice to say that I totally get the tomato soup painting. Like totally get it in ways I can’t describe in words," Ghulam writes in the project's description. "What I can describe, though, is why I appreciate the Chairman Mao painting I like how the image both ridicules yet glorifies at the same time and in equal measure. Two extremes sitting on top of each other comfortably."

More than just a fun cooking experiment, Ghulam's Chairman Mao Russian Saladholds deep meaning about the artist's relationship with Warhol. She first began expressing her art through food while researching for her novel, Graffiti Hack. In it, the protagonist, Nelly, begins her own journey as an artist by decorating food, which eventually leads to her titular web art shenanigans. But the end of her research didn't turn out to be the end of her food art: "Once the novel was published, the creative engine wouldn't stop," she tells The Creators Project. "I found myself still thinking of new ideas that I had nowhere to put and so I started making youTube videos instead." Now, the world has a Russian salad shaped like Andy Warhol's Chairman Mao.

The next step, in traditional Warholian fashion, was to bomb the salad with a bunch of color combinations. Below, see Ghulam's "prints" of Chairman Mao Russian Salad (made on paint.net).

Andy Warhol Chairman Mao Russian Salad, Elen Ghulam, 2014, Images courtesy the artist

Andy Warhol Chairman Mao Russian Salad, Elen Ghulam, 2014,

For more details on Gulam's process, watch the video above or check out the step-by-step instructions on her website.

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