Marilyn, from a portfolio of ten screenprints
Trained in commercial illustration and advertising, Andy Warhol was intrigued by consumer culture and the power of pop-culture icons. Marilyn Monroe was an immediately recognizable and beloved public figure, as representative of American pop culture as the Coca-Cola bottles or Campbell’s soup cans that lined the shelves in supermarkets across the country. Within a few days of Monroe’s death in 1962, Warhol purchased a black-and-white 1950s publicity photo of her that he used as the basis for many paintings. Monroe’s public façade, reproduced in endless repetition, recalls both the individual frames of motion picture film and the proliferation of her image throughout American pop culture.