by Jessica Corbett
The Marilyns: Capturing a Legend
From his early childhood, Andy Warhol was
fascinated by the myth of stardom. The seemingly exciting and decadent
lives of the young and famous fuelled Warhol's imagination. His attraction
to the glamorous world of Hollywood in later years would become the
inspiration for much of his artistic work, most notably, Warhol's
trademark silkscreens. Not only would Warhol become one of the most
recognizable names in art, but his silkscreens of celebrities would also
help to solidify the legendary careers of those he painted. The luminous
Marilyn Monroe was the subject of endless fascination for Warhol, and
together they made artistic history.
Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol was drawn to Marilyn Monroe.
From the very first time Warhol watched her light up the silver screen, he
was in awe. The attraction he had to Monroe was not simply because of her
beauty though, in fact, he felt he identified with her in a way few others
could. His perception of her was bi-fold: an object of desire and a role
model. Because of his deep appreciation for her, Warhol was able to
illuminate the hidden and quite often dark side of her personality in his
work. The famous Marilyn Monroe silkscreens by Andy Warhol quite
accurately portray the legendary actress's beauty and sex appeal, but in a
complex and unique way.
Marilyn Monroe Silkscreens
Tragically, in 1962, Andy Warhol's
celebrity muse Marilyn Monroe committed suicide. However, her legend would
not die; shortly after her death, Warhol completed a series of artistic
works called "the Marilyns" to pay tribute to a woman he deeply
admired. The initial colored pictures he created of Monroe were remarkably
beautiful, but his most famous depiction of her came from a photograph.
Using a publicity shot taken by Gene Korman for the film Niagara made in
1953, Warhol cropped the glossy photo to fit his canvas. He then made art
history as it were when he silkscreened the composition for several
paintings. Warhol reproduced several times over the image of Monroe's
face. In the process of reproduction, he invented a style he would later
become fond of and would render it famous for silkscreening.
As Andy Warhol's career skyrocketed, he
would become famous for a number of brilliant and groundbreaking works.
His art was unpredictable and shattered all preconceptions in the art
world making him a legend. But even as the name of Andy Warhol became
known the world over, his famous sikscreened images of Marilyn Monroe
served as a reminder of his artistic beginnings. The great screen beauty
who died a premature and tragic death not only inspired Warhol but also
transformed his career and left an indelible mark on his life. The
profound connection that Warhol had with Monroe was deeply felt in his
work, and he was eternally grateful to have known a woman of such
significant interior and exterior beauty.
About the Author
Jessica Corbett is an modern day artist and
is the proud owner/author of the website Andy
Warhol Posters 'n' Pop.
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