Derivatives: Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol and Louise Lawler

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, DC—Andy Warhol’s famous portraits of Marilyn Monroe have helped to fuel the enduring fascination with the Hollywood actress and sex symbol. A couple of recently observed Warhol works rendered in gold and a neon red are the among his more distinct Monroe images. Meanwhile, the Pop artist’s tendency to return to Monroe as a subject, inspired “Does Andy Warhol Make You Cry?”, a portrait of the film star by Louise Lawler.

All photos © Arts Observer

Above, “Gold Maryilyn,” 1962 (silkscreen ink on authentic polymer paint on canvas) by Andy Warhol at MoMA. Top of page, Detail of “Gold Maryilyn.”

According to the wall label, Andy Warhol painted the metallic portrait of Marilyn Monroe in 1962, the year that she committed suicide. This portrait and many others Warhol made of Monroe (including the red one below) was based on a publicity still photograph from her 1953 film “Niagara.” He created the work by painting the canvas gold and then silkscreening her portrait at the center.

“Maryilyn Monroe,” 1967 (color screenprint) by Andy Warhol at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

As the exhibit label notes: “By emphasizing the image’s off-register printing, Warhol created a powerful metaphor for the dissolution of Monroe’s career and the disastrous impact of her overexposure.”

“Does Andy Warhol Make You Cry?” 1988 (silver dye bleach print and Plexiglass label with gilded lettering) by Louis Lawler at MoMA. The artist derived the work from Andy Warhol’s 1962 painting “Round Marilyn.”

Read more about the concept and creation of the Lawler work here.

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