Popular figures and everyday American objects created a new artistic movement, in which Andy Warhol (1928-1987) was one of the protagonists. The American artist, who began his career as an illustrator for several magazines, became one of the figures in pop art. Marilyn Monroe, coca-cola bottles, brillo boxes and Campbell soup cans, were reproduced in series with different colors using the technique of silkscreen. Giving a new aesthetic order to everyday objects, the American artist analyzes a society submerged in consumerism. His studio, which he called The Factory, became a center for meeting, artistic production and the enjoyment of modern life. In addition to being a visual artist, he was also a photographer, filmmaker and producer of the famous album with the banana on the cover of the band Velvet Underground.Discover here 10 important facts about one of the most famous works of art in the world, Marilyn Monroe, a perfect symbol of celebrity, beauty and death that definedAndy Warhol.
1.Andy Warhol created his first painting of Marilyn in 1962
The actress died on August 5, 1962, after taking an overdose of sleeping pills. The news of his death inspiredAndy Warhol to create his first silkscreen paintings of Marilyn at the end of the month. Before the year was out, he ended up creating at least 23 Marilyn paintings.
2.Marilyn was one of Warhol's first serigraphs
Andy Warhol began experimenting with screen printing techniques in August 1962, just days before Marilyn's tragic death. “The rubber stamp method I was using to repeat images suddenly felt very homely; I wanted something stronger that gave more of an assembly-line effect,” he said. Andy Warhol in your memory book. “My first experiences with canvases were the heads of Troy Donahue and Warren Beatty, and then when Marilyn Monroe died that month, I had the idea to create canvases of her beautiful face – the first Marilyns.”
3. Marilyn deAndy Warhol is based on a photo from the movie Niagara
In the 1953 thriller film, Marilyn played the femme fatale Rose Loomis, an unfaithful wife who plots a deadly plan against her older husband while they vacation in Niagara Falls. Marilyn's original photo for Niagara is in black and white and shows the actress up to her chest. For his paintings, Warhol cropped the photo to draw more attention to Marilyn's face. Some of his portraits are monochromatic, while others are painted in bright, imagined colors.
4.Capture Marilyn Monroe at the height of her career
While Marilyn Monroe was 36 when she died, Warhol's portraits have frozen her forever at 26, the year she became one of Hollywood's most profitable stars. In addition to Niagara, 1953 saw the release of his acclaimed films Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How To Marry A Millionaire.
5. Marilyn is a carefully crafted identity
By endlessly repeating the image of Marilyn Monroe in his art, like a can of Campbell's soup, Warhol transformed a real person into a product that can be made and consumed. As the pop artist once said, “The more you look at the exact same thing, the more meaning disappears, and the better and emptier you feel.”
6.The iconic portrait inspired endless parodies
Anonymous street artist Banksy paid tribute to Marilyn deAndy Warhol with her artwork Kate Moss, which features the English supermodel's face with Marilyn's hair. Meanwhile, Brainwash's Spock Monroe merges Marilyn with the famous Star Trek character, while contemporary artist Gary Hogben has mixed Marilyn and Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a work titled Boris Monroe.
7. Marilyn's paintings reflect her favorite subject.Andy Warhol
The pop artist's obsession with celebrity, beauty and death are all channeled into his portraits of Marilyn. A year later, Warhol went on to create his sensational paintings of Death and Disaster, which repeated gruesome images of race riots, electric chairs, suicide victims and car accidents. “Every time I turned on the radio, they said something like '4 million are going to die'. But when you see a horrible image over and over again, it really has no effect,” Warhol said of the inspiration behind the works.
8. Andy Warhol raised Marilyns throughout her life
In 1979, nearly two decades after Marilyn's first paintings, Warhol began his Reversal series, where he inverted his best-known works – turning light areas into dark and shadows into color. Over the next seven years, Warhol created a new series of paintings by Marilyn (Reversion), essentially making reproductions of his own reproductions.
9. Marilyns are in museums around the world
You can find one of the first Warhol paintings by the actress, Marilyn Diptych, at Tate Modern in London. In the United States, the Museum of Modern Art in New York holds the 1962 Gold Marilyn Monroe, while the Cleveland Museum of Art has Marilyn x 100, the largest of Marilyn's paintings. The Leeum Samsung Museum in Seoul has the fascinating Forty-Five Gold Marilyns, made in 1979 as part of Warhol's Reversal series.
10. The most expensive Marilyn sold for $195 million
“Short Sage Marilyn” by Andy Warhol was sold for a record $195 million at Christie's New York on May 9, 2022. The long-awaited sale has become the most expensive 20th century artwork ever sold at auction.
Bought after just 4 minutes of bidding by dealer Larry Gagosian, 'Shot Sage Marilyn' pushed Jean-Michel's Untitled Skull Canvas Basquiat most expensive piece of work - it sold for $110 million in 2017. With all proceeds from the auction going to charity, it represented the biggest philanthropic sale since the 2018 Rockefeller auction.
With Christie's describing the screen printing as "one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence", it's no surprise that this much-loved pinnacle of Pop Art has secured quite a bit of cash - albeit less than its pre-order estimate.