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Artist: Andy Warhol

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Introduction

Jennifer Collins Level 1 Module AR1015 Contextual Research Research File Artist: Andy Warhol Title: Untitled (from Marilyn collection) Date: 1967 Dimensions: 910x910 mm Materials: Screen print on paper Locations: Tate Liverpool, UK Works from the Marilyn Collection: The Marilyn print I'm studying was silkscreen printed in 1967, but the collection was started in 1962 when Marilyn Monroe was pronounced dead due to an overdose of sleeping pills. This came at roughly half way through Warhol's career when he was a very well established artist and the public were well aware of his works and exhibitions. He was considered a celebrity himself at this time and even featured in some self-portraits. Pop art emerged in the mid 1950's in England but it realised its fullest attention in New York, USA where Warhol's art studio 'The Factory' was based. As the Marilyn prints were done in the mid 60's the Pop Art movement was well underway in imitating the explosion in advertising, celebrities and cinema. ...read more.

Middle

Basquiat and Stephen Sprouce became renowned for their association with Warhol with very colourful and simple images appearing in their work. CD covers from Kiss, Queen and U2 have all taken inspiration in their design and even musicians have named themselves after him ('The Dandy Warhol's') or included his work in their videos (Michael and Janet Jackson's 'Scream' and Duran Duran's 'Do you Believe in Shame?'). A silkscreen method has been used in the Marilyn collections. This is where a template is made from an image (Warhol used Marilyn's portrait from the 1953 film, 'Niagara'), which is then printed onto a surface through a frame stretched with thin material with a rubber squeegee pushing the printing ink through. This gave irregularities though as factors such as squeegee softness, amount of ink on the screen and pressure applied all gave different results. When Warhol's assistant, Nathan Gluck pointed this out, Andy's reply was simply 'Oh, but I like it that way'. ...read more.

Conclusion

I feel that as Warhol started the Marilyn collection just after the time of her death, its was her public suicide and her media presence which gave him the inspiration to capture her image as the beautiful movie star who would not die. Her image seemed to swamp the world in newspapers, documentaries and TV reports. As the public were talking, watching and reading about Marilyn though all types of media she became the perfect subject for Warhol to concentrate on. He wanted to highlight her status as that very popular film star with bleached blond hair, loud makeup and voluptuous body with a constant presence in the media. Even the colours that he used in the portraits mimicked the make-up and fashion colours of the time. This use of colour again linked to the popular colours used to advertise products; all relating back to Warhol's aim to characterise the consumer culture. Marilyn became a fantasy figure, which belonged to the public through mass media. Her image and name are still a multinational business to this day. ...read more.

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