No. 155 – Marilyn

Individually untitled images from Marilyn (1967) courtesy MoMA, ©Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Prog 666’s (1990) Judge Dredd cover by David Hine v [9/10 separate images collectively known as] Marilyn (1967) by Andy Warhol (born Andrew Warhola, 1928–1987)

To create his iconic images of Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson, 1926–1962), Worhol used the same publicity still of the actress as Rose Loomis in Niagra (20th Century Fox, 1953) that he had previously used for dozens of paintings. Each image was printed from five screens: one that carried the photographic image and four for different areas of colour, sometimes printed off-register.

In Marilyn Diptych (1962) the repetition of Monroe’s image evokes her ubiquitous presence in the media, while the contrast of vivid colour with black and white fading in the right panel are suggestive of the cult of celebrity surrounding the star and her ultimate mortality. Concerning image repetition Warhol said, “The more you look at the same exact thing, the more the meaning goes away, and the better and emptier you feel.”

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