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AN AMERICAN IDOL: MARILYN MONROE IN POP ART BY SHANNON KELSEY STRISCHEK A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida In partial fulfillment for the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Dr. Maribeth Clark Sarasota, Florida May, 2009
ii Dedication Without the aid, guidance, and never-ending faith of Jan Wheeler and Maribeth Clark, this thesis never would have been written. I cannot express the gratitude I feel for all what you have done to help me reach the finish lin e of the New College Marathon: the Thesis. This thesis is also for every Novo Collegian who is told they are incapable of writing their thesis and to dash their hopes of graduation. My Thesis Baby is to show you not only that you can but also that you will and you will both love and be proud of what you have accomplished during your time here.
iii Acknowledgements This thesis has been a truly unbelievable experience. When I began researching in February 2008, I never expected it to turn into such an arduous journey; I had my interest, my summer set aside for thesis completion, and goal of an early bacc date. However, as well all know, the best-laid plans often go awry and my first ideas for my thesis did just that and I often went spectacularly to pieces. I will never stop being thankful for my extraordinary luck to be surrounded by so many encouraging people. They have supporte d me through my many downfalls, even when the next one seemed more treacherous than the next. I have learned many things during my four years at New College; without a doubt, I am most thankful for the unbelievable people I have met here, especially those who I am privileged to consider my friends. Thank you, first and foremost, to my fa mily, who never stopped believing in me: my father, Dev, for taking time from the busy banking world to read his daughters innumerable pages on Pop art and making them shine; my mo ther, Valerie, for letting me spend most of my time with her crying over my thesis before nagging me to get it done already; my twinny twin twin, Caitlin, who endured over a y ear and a half of my moaning about The Thesis and only The Thesis what are we going to talk about now? I truly could not have done this without my family; I love you all so much. To my committee members, Dr. Malena Carrasco and Dr. Nova Myhill, for motivating and challenging me not only during th e thesis process, but also throughout my time at New College. Dr. Carrasco, I will miss your classes and your wealth of art history knowledge. Dr. Myhill, it broke my heart when I had to switch advisors my fourth year and I am grateful I was still able to benefit from your immeasurable advice. I am grateful to have benefited from both of your expertis e throughout my undergraduate career. To my incredible group of friends: Jillian, for the innumerable dinners at Sam Oh Jung and shared tears; Katie, for always bei ng my Mecca; Carmela, for being the greatest companion during countless sleepless nights at St arbucks; Erin, for being a shoulder to bash my head on even though she was on the other side of the country; Martha, for her ability to soothe my frazzled nerves when nothing else would work; Heather, for making the effort to reach out to me when I was in the most inner circle of Thesis Hell; Camolyn, for continuing to be one of my greatest friends and supporters ; Kara, for being the best roommate ever; and the innumerable others who helped me rememb er how to have fun with non-related thesis activities. Without the Thesis Baby, I never woul d have met some other extraordinary individuals: Susan, for keeping me sane and reminding me to breathe; Starbucks Frank and Brandon, for making me smile at my most sleep deprived (I hope to God I am never again awake long enough to greet the morning rush for as long as I live); and the entire crew of Sam-Oh-Jung Sushi, for learning my name ad supplying delicious meals when Thesis freakouts were inevitable. There are countless others who have helped in so me way or another; thank you thank you thank you.
iv Still, my biggest thank you is to New Colle ge. Although I hated every step of this seemingly pointless process, even now I know I have learned a truly invaluable lesson in writing the thesis: I am the Blue Engine That Could I CAN do it! I am truly grateful for the opportunity to attend this college. Again, thank you for four incredible years. I leave both content with my academic ach ievements as well as with the knowledge that I am proud to be a Novo Collegian, Class of 2009.
v Table of Contents Dedication ..ii Acknowledgments iii Table of Contents ...v List of Figures ..vii Abstract xii Introduction: Pop Goes the Easel ...1 The Historical Moment ......1 Mass Media and Advertising .2 Prior Art Movements .3 The British Pop Art Movement .5 Pop Reaches an International Level ..7 American Pop Art . 7 Defining Characteristics 9 Subject Matter .10 Reception .........11 Marilyn Monroe ..13 Thesis Overview .15 Chapter One: The Establishment of Marilyn Monroe as an Icon (1954-1962) ..18 Willem de Kooning: Marilyn Monroe as Art ..19 Peter Phillips: Marilyn Monroe as a Religious Figure 23 Andy Warhol: Marilyn Monroe as a Popular Icon ..28 Allan DArcangelo: Marilyn Monroe as a Cult Figure 37 James Rosenquist: Marilyn Monroe, Fragmented Yet Recognizable ..40 Chapter Two: The Affirmation of Monroe as an Icon (1963-1972) 47 Richard Hamilton: Marilyn Monroe as a Permanent Creation 48 Robert Indiana: Marilyn Monroe as a Sex Icon ...58 Claes Oldenburg: A Relic of Marilyn Monroe 65 George Segal: The Venera tion of Marilyn Monroe .67 Andy Warhol: Marilyn Monroe as the Goddess of Pop Art... .70 Tom Wesselmann: A Relic of Marilyn Monroe ..73 Chapter Three: The Continuation of Marilyn Monroe as an Icon (1973-Present). .76 James Rosenquist: Marilyn Monroe S till Fragmented, Still Recognizable .77 Andy Warhol: Immortalizing Marilyn Monroe as an American Icon .80 Willem de Kooning: Marilyn Monroe Unmistakable in Abstraction ..84 Peter Blake: Marilyn Monroe Enshrined .86
vi Robert Indiana: Marilyn Monroe (Still) Beloved 96 Conclusion: Marilyn Monroe: Th e Woman Who Will Not Die ..99 Figures 103 Works Cited ...132
vii List of Figures Fig. 1. Marcel Duchamp, Fountain 1917; rpt. in Carol Strickland and Kohn Boswell, The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to PostModern (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1992; print; 148). Fig. 2. This is Tomorrow, 1956; rpt. in Richard Hamilton, Richard Hamilton (London: Tate Gallery, 1992; print). Fig. 3. Willem de Kooning, Marilyn Monroe 1954, Collection of Neuberger Museum; rpt. in Geri De Paoli, Elvis + Marilyn: 2 X Immortal : [Exhibition ... The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts, November 2, 1994 January 8, 1995 ...] (New York: Rizzoli, 1994; print; 4). Fig. 4. Venus of Willendorf c. 30,000 c. 18,000, Museum of Natural History, Vienna; rpt. in Carol Strickland and John Boswell, The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1992; print). Fig. 5. Peter Phillips, For Men OnlyStarring MM and BB 1961, Centro de Arte ModernaFundaao Calouse Gulbenkian, Lisbon; rpt. in Marco Livingstone, Pop Art: A Continuing History (New York: H.N. Abrams, 1990; print; 99). Fig. 6. Giotto, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints (Ognissanti Madonna) c.13051310, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence; rp t. in Ognissanti Madonna (Madonna in Maest); GIOTTO di Bondone ; Web Gallery of Art, n.d.; Web; 24 March 2009. Fig.7. Andy Warhol, Marilyn Diptych 1962, Tate Gallery; rpt. in Marilyn Diptych 1962; Tate Collection | Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol ; Tate Online, September 2004; Web; 24 February 2009. Fig. 8. Frank Powolny, Marilyn Monroe 1953; rpt. in FRANK POWOLNY (1902-1986), Marilyn Monroe 1953; LOT 30 / SALE 5435 ; Christies, n.d.; Web; 22 February 2009. Fig. 8a. Andy Warhol, Mechanical (Marilyn Monroe) c. 1953, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Julia Bigham and Nadine Kthe Monem, Pop Art Book (London: Black Dog, 2007; print; 54).
viii Fig. 9. Jan van Eyck, Diptych of the Annunciation 1441, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; rpt. in Diptych of the Annunciation; EYCK, Jan van ; Museo ThyssenBornemisza; n.d.; Web; 24 March 2009. Fig. 10. Anton Miriello, St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church ; rpt. in St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church of Greenfield, PA ; New Guild Studio, n.d.; Web; 12 February 2009. Fig. 11. Marilyn Monroe with Joe DiMaggio at the premiere of the Seven Year Itch 1955; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print). Fig. 12. Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroes Lips 1962, Private Collection; rpt. in Marilyn Monroes Lips ; ArtStor, n.d.; Web; 2 April 2009. Fig. 13. Andy Warhol, Gold Marilyn Monroe 1962, Museum of Modern Art, New York; rpt. in David Boudon, Warhol (New York: Abrams, 1989; print; 126). Fig. 13a. Detail. Andy Warhol, Gold Marilyn Monroe 1962, Museum of Modern Art, New York; rpt. in David Boudon, Warhol (New York: Abrams, 1989; print; 126). Fig. 14. Cambrai Madonna (Notre-Dame de Grce) Circle of Ambrogio Lorenzetti (Siena) ca. 1340, Metropolitan Museum of Art; rpt. in Byzantium: Faith and Power (12611557) ; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, March 23-July 4, 2004; Web; 3 April 2009. Fig. 15. Allan DArcangelo, Marilyn 1962; rpt. in Marco Livingstone, Pop Art: A Continuing History (New York: H.N. Abrams, 1990; print; 84). Fig. 16. Photograph of Monroe as Grand Marshall 1952. rpt. in James Haspiel, The Unpublished Marilyn (Edinburgh: Mainstream Pub, 2000; print; 56). Fig. 17. Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa c. 15031506, Muse du Louvre, Paris; rpt. in Carol Strickland and Kohn Boswell, The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1992; print; Fig. 18. Salvador Dal, S elf portrait as Mona Lisa 1954; rpt. in Baron, Robert A., 14: Dali ; Mona Lisas, n.d.; Web; 30 April 2009. Fig. 19. James Rosenquist, Marilyn Monroe, I 1962, Museum of Modern Art, New York; rpt. in Marco Livingstone, Pop Art: A Continuing History (New York: H.N. Abrams, 1990; print; 84). Fig. 19a. Numbered. James Rosenquist, Marilyn Monroe, I 1962, Museum of Modern Art, New York; rpt. in Marco Livingstone, Pop Art: A Continuing History (New York: H.N. Abrams, 1990; print; 84).
ix Fig. 20. Coca-Cola classic logo rpt. in ProductsImages Gallery; Press Center ; CocaCola, n.d.; Web; 15 Feb. 2009. Fig. 21. Marilyn Monroe in production shot from aborted film 'Something's Got to Give' 1962; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print). Fig. 22. Bert Stern, Photograph from The Last Sitting 1962; rpt. in Bert Stern, Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting (Munich: Schirmer Art Books, 1992; print). Fig. 23. Clive Barker, Study for Sculpture (Coke and Marilyn) 1969, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, UK; rpt. in Julia Bigham and Nadine Kthe Monem, Pop Art Book ( London: Black Dog, 2007; print; 56). Fig. 24. George Barris, Marilyn Monroe at Santa Monica Beach 1962; rpt. in Marilyn Monroe; Santa Monica Beach 1962; Ms-Monroe.com, n.d.; Web; 12 March 2009. Fig. 25. George Barris, Marilyn Monroe at Santa Monica Beach 1962; rpt. in Marilyn Monroe; Santa Monica Beach 1962; Ms-Monroe.com, n.d.; Web; 12 March 2009. Fig. 26. Richard Hamilton. My Marilyn 1964, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; rpt. in Marc Scheps and Iris Bruckgraber; 20th Century Art, Museum Ludwig Cologne (Kln: Taschen, 1996; print; 261). Fig. 26a. Numbered. Richard Hamilton. My Marilyn 1964, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; rpt. in Marc Sc heps and Iris Bruckgraber; 20th Century Art, Museum Ludwig Cologne (Kln: Taschen, 1996; print; 261). Fig. 27. Richard Hamilton, My Marilyn 1965, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; rpt. in Klaus Honnef, and Uta Grosenick, Pop Art (Kln: Taschen, 2004; print; 39). Fig. 28. Richard Hamilton, My Marilyn 1966, rpt. in My Marilyn by Richard Hamilton; University of Warwick Art Collection ; Warwick, 28 Jan 2008; Web; 19 February 2009. Fig. 29. Robert Indiana, The Metamorphosis of Norma Jean Mortenson 1967; rpt. in Geri De Paoli, Elvis + Marilyn: 2 X Immortal : [Exhibition ... The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts, November 2, 1994 January 8, 1995 ...] (New York: Rizzoli, 1994; print). Fig. 30. Golden Dreams 1947; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print). Fig. 31. A New Wrinkle 1947; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print).
x Fig. 32. Cover of the first issue of Playboy feat. Marilyn Monroe 1953; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print). Fig. 33. Claes Oldenburg, Lipstick with Stroke Attached (for M.M.) 1969-1971, Private Collection; rpt. in Christin Mamiya, Pop Art and Consumer Culture: American Supermarket (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992; print.; 100). Fig. 34. George Segal, The Movie Poster, 1967, Private Collection; rpt. in George Segal (1924-2000): The Movie Poster ; LOT 24 / SALE 2167 ; Christies, n.d.; Web; 1 May 2009. Fig. 35. Promotional image of Monroe for Some Like It Hot 1957; rpt. in Marilyn; Some Like it Hot ; If Magazine, n.d.; Web; 1 May 2009. Fig. 36. Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) 1967, Private Collection; rpt. in Feldman, Frayda, et al., Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonn, 1962-1987 (New York, N.Y.: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers in association with R. Feldman Fine Arts, Inc, 1997; print). Fig. 37a-i. Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) 1967, Private Collection; rpt. in Feldman, Frayda, et al., Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonn, 1962-1987 (New York, N.Y.: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers in association with R. Feldman Fine Arts, Inc, 1997; print). Fig. 38. Vishnu reclining on the serpent Ananta c. 1850-1870, Victoria & Albert Museum, London; rpt. in Vishnu reclining on the serpent Ananita; Image ; Victoria & Albert Museum, n.d.; Web; 1 May 2009. Fig. 39. Vishnu & Lakshmi on The Serpent of Eternity c. 1870, Victoria & Albert Museum, London; rpt. in Vishnu & Lakshmi on The Serpent of Eternity; Image Details ; Victoria & Albert Musum. N.d.; Web; 24 April 2009. Fig. 40. Tom Wesselmann, Mouth #14 (Marilyn ), 1967, Private Collection, New York; rpt. in Wesselmann, Tom; Art & Art History Visual Resources Collecting ; Digital Archive Services, n.d. ; Web; 25 April 2009. Fig. 41. James Rosenquist, Marilyn 1974, Tate Collection, London; rpt. in Marilyn 1974; Tate Collection | Marilyn by James Rosenquist ; Tate Online, n.d.; Web; 12 Feb 2008. Fig. 41a. Numbered. James Rosenquist, Marilyn 1974, Tate Collection, London; rpt. in Marilyn 1974; Tate Collection | Marilyn by James Rosenquist ; Tate Online, n.d.; Web; 12 Feb 2008.
xi Fig. 42. Andy Warhol, Onehundred and fifty black/white/grey Marilyns 1979, Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich; rpt. in Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol The Late Work Paintings & Wallpapers  (Mnchen: Prestel, 2004; Print; 91-93). Fig. 43. Andy Warhol, Nine Multicolored Marilyns 1979-1986, Private Collection; Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol: wystawa z kolekcji Jos Mugrabiego = (Warsaw: Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, 1998; print). Fig. 44. Andy Warhol. Four Marilyns Reversal 1979-1986, Private Collection; Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol: wystawa z kolekcji Jos Mugrabiego = (Warsaw: Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, 1998; print). Fig. 45. Andy Warhol. Marilyn Reversal 1979-1986, Private Collection; Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol: wystawa z kolekcji Jos Mugrabiego = (Warsaw: Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, 1998; print). Fig. 46. Willem De Kooning. Big Blonde (Marilyn Monroe) 1982, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California; rpt. in Big Blonde (Marilyn Monroe) ArtStor, n.d.; Web; 2 April 2009. Fig. 47. Peter Blake, Shrine to MARILYN MONROE 1990; rpt. in Peter Blake, Peter Blake: In Homage to Marilyn Monroe. [Exhibiti on] Wetterling Gallery, Gothenburg, May 17-June 17, 1990 (Gothenburg: Wetterling Gallery, 1990; print). Fig. 48. Peter Blake, Shrine to MARILYN MONROE, in a Texas Diner 1989; rpt. in Peter Blake, Peter Blake: In Homage to Marilyn Monroe. [Exhibition] Wetterling Gallery, Gothenburg, May 17-June 17, 1990 (Gothenburg: Wetterling Gallery, 1990; print). Fig. 49. Subway Grate Scene, The Seven Year Itch, 1955; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print). Fig. 50. Bert Stern, Photograph from The Last Sitting 1962; rpt. in Bert Stern, Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting (Munich: Schirmer Art Books, 1992; print). Fig. 51. Publicity shot of Monroe for All About Eve 1950; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print). Fig. 52. Robert Indiana, Norma Jean Loved 2000, Private Collection; rpt. in Norma Jean Loved, 2000 by Robert Indiana; Lot 33 at Phillips De Pury November 13, 2008 ; chelseaartgalleries.com, n.d.; Web; 23 March 2009.
xii AN AMERICAN IDOL: MARILYN MONROE IN POP ART Shannon Kelsey Strischek New College of Florida, 2009 ABSTRACT Due to Pop artists use of mass-produced ima ges, the sensational media coverage of Marilyn Monroes death in 1962 contributed to her popularity as a subject in Pop art. In the years following her death, many have studied her unabating presence in American visual culture as a venerated idol, but few have chosen to survey her as an idol solely within Pop art. I begin by defining the Pop art movement and examining the events of Monroes death that contributed to the exploration of he r iconic status by Pop artists. The remainder of the thesis is divided into three sections that examine the depictions of Marilyn Monroe as an idol within Pop art. I explore the establishment of Monroe as an icon (1953-1962), the affirmation of Monroe as an icon (1963-1972), and the continuation of Monroe as an icon (1973-Present). By dividing the works by time period, I demonstrate the way in which Pop artists continue to depict Monroe as a revere d American idol since her death. By drawing comparisons to examples of iconography in previous art movements, these chapters demonstrate the ways in which Pop artists esta blish the continuation of Monroe as a powerful icon within American popular culture.
xiii ______________________________________ Dr. Maribeth Clark Division of Humanities
1 Introduction: Pop Goes the Easel1 A sex symbol becomes a thing. I just hate being a thing.Marilyn Monroe Marilyn Monroe is arguably one of the most iconic people of the twentieth-century; her role in 1950s popular culture in addition to her continuing presence within American cultural identity, however, is seldom examined in the realm of academia. Too often critics only see an hourglass-shaped sex symbol with in the Pop art movement, a movement whose artists merely replicated the imagery around th em. Monroes synonymous association with an art movement that altered the history of ar t indicates that both topics deserve more scholarship. Thus, it is my intention within this thesis to examine Pop artists presentation of Monroe as the venerated goddess of the Pop art movement. The Historical Moment Pop art dominated the American art scene of the 1950s and 1960s yet its influence can be found in the events of previous decades. The end of World War II rejuvenated and expanded the world market, and America quickly pr oved that it led the world in a variety of fields. As world trade rebounded, America was ab le not only to promote itself but also to export its culture to the rest of the world. As Sidra Stich notes, The exporting of American taste, American products, and more generally the American way of life advanced Americas 1 This title refers to the 1962 British film of the same name. Pop Goes the Easel directed by Ken Russel for the BBC Monitor Series, follows the lives and work of four emerging artists: Peter Blake, Derek Boshier, Pauline Boty, and Peter Phillips. According to Bigham and Monem, The title Pop Goes the Easel was a reference to the Pop Art [ sic ] movement itself, to which these four artists were making a significant contribution at the time (74).
2 influence and image in the international s cene (12). This worldwide success of cultural exportation led to a rise in mass media. It became not only a major presence in the everyday life of everyday Americans but also a major power in American society (Stich 110). The mass media became part of the American culture resulting in the development of a national mass culture. Mass Media and Advertising Advertising, more than anything, e nhanced the power of mass culture. The expanding middle class was increasingly surrounded and inundated by mass media advertising and began to rely heavily on the mass media as a source of direction (Stich 10). World War II had accelerated the pace of advertisings impact on the American landscape. From newspapers and magazines to posters, from the radio to the silver screen, patriotic advertisements helped mobilize enthusiasm and energy everywhere that [they] appeared as well as increasing brand recognition (Pincas and Loiseau 86). After the war, the arrival of the television in the homes of millions of Americans introduced a new channel of communication; no longer limited to newspapers, magazines, or ra dio, television offered the chance for companies to market their brands and products to a larger and more varied demographic. Americas tolerance of advertisi ng resulted in its transformation into a nation of culture consumers for whom art was not just an object of beauty that provided sensory pleasure, but a commodity (Stich 11). Along with this transformation came the acceptance of mass culture. In efforts to appeal to the masses by following current trends, advertisements were similar to works of art in reflecting the societ y for which they served. According to David Ogilvy, Advertising reflects the mores of society, but does not influence them (26). Even
3 more so, the mass media not only perform[ed] broad socially-useful roles but offer[ed] possibilities of private and personal deep in terpretation as well. (Alloway, Long Front 43). Although the idea of private and personal de ep interpretation can find its roots in the art world, it suggests that advertising was bei ng perceived as an alternative art form and it was only a matter of time before the art world would produce a response. Prior Art Movements The imagery found in Pop art was inspired by the changing American landscape, but the aims of the artists can be traced to previous art movements, such as Abstract Expressionism and Dadaism. Abstract Expressionism was the dominant art movement in America during the 1950s. Based in New York, it was the first Amer ican art movement to have an international influence. It was partly due to the success of this native movement that the center for new art shifted from Paris to New York City. The Abstract Expressionists broke away from conventional techniques and form choosing to explore their inner individual psyches. As a result, there was extremely little unity in style and technique. Still, however different the paintings appeared, their forms were executed w ith a feel of improvisation and spontaneity in addition to an emphasis on dynamic, energetic gesture (Paul). Most importantly, Abstract Expressionism had expanded the horizons of what could be done with art. By the 1950s, Abstract Expressionism has passed its zenith. New, younger artists were beginning to appear on the scene, but they found, as Haskell and Hanhardt notes, the existential rhetoric surrounding Abstract Expressionism no longer seemed viable. In response, a number of them during the 1950s began to search for an art that would focus on the real world rather than on abstraction (15). With works by artists such as Jasper Johns
4 and Robert Rauschenberg easing the transition, this search ended with the dawn of the Pop art movement. Critics often view Pop art simply as an opposite reaction to Abstract Expressionism, a complete break with the movement. However, it is an oversimplification to pass Pop art as a mere reaction to Abstract Expressionism when, in fact, Abstract Expressionism had an enormous effect on Pop art. Many Pop artists were taught in the tradition of Abstract Expressionism, influenced by its ideals, met hod of production, and subject matter. Both Abstract Expressionism and Pop art were art movements whose artists worked alone rather than together, resulting in a variety of subject matters, themes, and styles. However, the success of the Abstract Expressionists expanding the boundaries of what could be featured on a canvas had the most profound effect on the Pop artists. Pop art also has had its roots traced back to earlier art movements, such as Dada and the avant-garde. The influence of Duchamps invention of the Readymade object cannot be stressed enough, for it posed the basic question of the relation between art and life with which Pop artists are still grappling in their work (Zimmerer 23). The Pop artists transformation of everyday objects echoed the spirit of Duchamps avant-garde sculpture, Fountain 1917 (fig. 1).2 As Lucy Lippard observed, the ethos of Duchamp did not directly influence the younger artists [but] helped to mould the aesthetic situation in which Pop was possible (14). Just as Duchamp made use of a found object and transformed it into art (albeit by signing his name), the Pop artists mo ld their own found objects, such as advertising images, and transform them into art using their own method. 2 Consisting of a urinal Duchamp purchased in New York, Fountain is regarded as a landmark in twentieth century art due to Duchamps avant-garde use of a ready-made, or found object.
5 By the late 1950s, Abstract Expressionism was already fading into the background of the American artscape. However, Pop art did not find itself immediately in its place. Several movements, such as Neo-Dada, the Beats, F unk, and Fluxus, occurred during the decline of Abstract Expressionism. Although these movement s did not have as profound an effect on Pop as Abstract Expressionism, they would eventually contribute to the rise of the Pop art movement. The British Pop Art Movement Prior to the start of the American Pop art movement, a similar movement had begun in Britain during the early 1950s.3 The British Pop art movement grew from a small association of artists, architects, historians, a nd critics who met periodically to hold informal discussions and events between 1952 and 1955 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, or the ICA, in London, England. They later came to refer to themselves as the Independent Group. The British Pop artists were fascinated by the new wave of mass consumerism of America as well as entranced by the effect it was already having on modern culture and began to explore the power of the imagery in their own work. In a letter to the architects Peter and Alison Smithson after the closing of the revolutionary exhibit This Is Tomorrow4 in 1956, British artist Richard Hamilton referred to Pop Art [ sic ].5 As he provided no further definition of the term it is reasonable to assume 3 Although the British Pop art movement began roughly five years before the start of the American movement, it is important to note that the American m ovement did develop independently. The American Pop art movement began with the same ideas that had instigated the British Pop art, but by the time Pop emerged in the United States, British Pop art had already evolved beyond what had been seen at the beginning of the movement. 4 This is Tomorrow played a crucial role in the evolution of British Pop art by broadening the definition of culture to the inclusion of popular material and mass media in their artwork. 5 Concerning the origin of the term Pop art, it was coined in 1954 by John McHale (Thompson, Origin of the term pop art). However, critic Lawrence Alloway is most often
6 both the Smithsons and the British art world were aware of the term and the art it entailed. Moreover, Hamilton presented his now famous list of the characteristics of Pop art: My view is that another show should be as highly disciplined and unified in conception as this one was chaotic. Is it possi ble that the participants could relinquish their existing personal solutions and try to bring about some new formal conception complying with a strict, mutually agreed programme [ sic ]? Suppose we were to start with the objective of providing a unique solution to the specific requirement of a domestic environment e.g. some kind of shelter, some kind of equipment, some kind of art. This solution could then be formulated and rated on the basis of compliance with a table of characteristics of Pop Art [ sic ]. Pop Art [ sic ] is: Popular (designed for a mass audience) Transient (short-term solution) Expendable (easily-forgotten) Low cost Mass produced Young (aimed at youth) Witty Sexy Gimmicky Glamorous Big Business This is just a beginning. (Letter 28) The topics explored by British Pop art varied little from that found in American Pop art; in fact, artists from both countries explored the messages in the contemporary imagery that exemplified American mass culture. British Pop art and American Pop art tread familiar ground in their examination of common images fr om American mass culture and exploration of a new era of American consumerism. credited as the creator of the term due to his use of the term mass popular art in his 1958 article, The Arts and the Mass Media. The actual term Pop art is never used within the article.
7 Pop Reaches An International Level The Pop art movement expanded to an international level, enjoying some limited success in mainland Europe, specifically in France, Germany, and Italy. However, it failed to achieve the same degree of impact it had in America and Britain. Many critics believed this to be a result of Pop arts origins in an industrial society; Pop art is an art of industrialism . It is the maximum development of its communicat ions and the proliferation of messages that give America its centrality in Pop cultur e (Alloway, Popular Culture 65). The United States remained central to the Pop art move ment and, consequently maintained hegemony over what would never cease to be an American art movement. American Pop Art Both art critics and historians agree that Pop art was a unique American art movement. Pop artists used unprivileged, common images from ma ss culture and from the man-made environment to create a distinctly Ameri can art form. They were responding to the new American visual landscape, a vista of advertising, billboards, commercial products, automobiles, strip malls, fast food television, and comic strip. (Phillips and Haskell 114) Still, Pop was also fragmented and highly depe ndent on the individual artist, and each work offered a different style than the previous. With the emergence of Pop artists in both New York and California, Pop art also became an extremely localized movement. Similarities in themes and imagery were shared between artists in a similar location, and this imagery often differed greatly among artists across the nation. Thus, American Pop art was subdivided into East Coast and West Coast. Although the Pop art that is most well known today came primarily from the East Coast, there was a corresponding Pop art movement in California, or the West Coast. East
8 Coast Pop was based in New York City, the new world center for art, while Los Angeles was the Mecca of pop culture for the West Coast. Although there is some semblance of subject matter and stylistic qualities to be found in artists in the same locality, such as the depiction of popular imagery, Pop art began as a relativ ely individualistic movement. Livingstone noted, American Pop artists had each worked in considerable isolation from 1960-61, but from 1963, when they began to exhibit together and to know each other on a more personal basis, cross-influence and a common sense of purpose became more evident ( Pop Art 128). This was aided by the groundbreaking exhibition, New Painting of Common Objects at the Pasadena Art Museum in Pasade na, California in 1962. This e xhibit is widely believed by critics to be among the first exhibitions of Pop art in the United States. It showcased art by numerous Pop artists from both coasts, like East Coast artists Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol and West Coast artists Edward Ruscha and Wayne Thiebaud. Pop artists were intent on shaping thei r own identities through their individual and idiosyncratic styles, but their works all share certain key characteristics that make it possible to define, classify, and understand Pop art as a unique body of work. A driving force propelling forward the Pop art movement wa s the new commercially visual American landscape after World War II. It was a vista of advertising, billboards, commercia l products, automobiles, strip malls, fast food, television, and comic strips [The artists] therefore took print, film, and television images from media-based reality and transformed them into art, often through various mechanical means. Their pictures were often images of images, copies of copies, a twice-removed effect that echoed the techniques of mass production, the media and marke ting. (Phillips and Haskell 114) Furthermore, given the simplistic symbology of American advertising, American Pop art was generally
9 characterized by a stark and emblematic presentation that contrasted with the narrative and analytical tendencies of its British counterpart. At its most rigorous, American Pop art insisted on a direct rela tionship between its use of the imagery of mass production and its adoption of modern technological procedures. Whereas British Pop art often celebrated or satirized consumer culture, American Pop artists tended to have a more ambiguous attitude to wards their subject-matter, nowhere more so than in the mixture of glamour and pathos that characterized Andy Warhols silkscreened icons of Hollywood film stars . Compared to the disparate nature of British Pop art, from the early 1960s American Pop art appeared to be a unified movement. Its shared formal characteristics included aggressively contemporary imagery, anonymity of surface, strong, flatly applied colours [ sic ] and a stylistic unity often associated with centralized compositions. Each of the American artists was quick to establish his or her identity, often with the ironic suggestion that the art was like any consumer product or brand name to be marketed. (Livingstone, Pop Art) Thus, we can infer from both Phillips and Haskell and Livingstone the defining characteristics of Pop art. Defining Characteristics First and foremost, Pop art used popular imagery. From advertisements for refrigerators to the centerfolds of Playboy Pop artists drew their inspiration from a seemingly bottomless well filled w ith consumer products and thei r media messages. Further, many of the artists had worked as commerc ial artists, so they understood not only the techniques of display but the importance of pres entation. To them, art was another product in the consumer landscape (Phillips and Haskell 114 ). Already experienced in the methods of mechanical reproduction, these artists applied this methodology to their own works. Their subjects, usually consumer products, were pres ented in a cool, deadpan style often using methods drawn from commercial printing b illboards or signage [and] a hardedge, hygienic presentation (Phillips and Haskell 125). Unlike the gestural, emotive qualities of Abstract Expressionism, the resulting imagery of Pop art is hard-edged and stark, devoid of sensitivity and emotion. Furthermore, the two-dimensional image lies flat on the canvas, the piece itself lacking physical, intell ectual, or emotional depth. The artist has rendered nothing
10 but the object to the viewer; all traces of the artists hand have been eliminated to culminate in the detached feel of an outside, disinterested observer. The artist presents the subject of the work as it appears in life, almost invoking a what you see is what you get mantra. In sum, Pop art is characterized by its use of familiar imagery from popular culture, by its detached style, and by its stark simplicity. Subject Matter According to Christopher Finch, One of the great preoccupations of twentiethcentury art has been with the object (9). Pop art was instrumental in allowing the objects acceptance as a subject into the realm of high art. Although each Pop artist possesses a distinctive, unique style, the subject matter am ong the artists remains quite consistent. This consistency is in part due to consumerism, commercialism, and the celebration of celebritythe prevailing character of the art community reflected the general postwar climate in America (Stich 11). The artist was intrigued by the American consumer culture and inspired by the visual landscape because America had become a nation of culture consumers for whom art was not just an object of beauty that provided sensory pleasure, but a commodity (Stich 11). The artists explored the themes of mass production, the role of the consumer, and the consumer culture as well as the influence advertising and media on the definitions of the American Dream, American Identity, and success through their portrayals of the consumable object. It doubled as a sym bol of American success, and so became the subject of artistic study: food, roadways and cars, and women. As the Pop art movement explored distinctively American consumer imagery, artists examined every aspect of consumer culture.
11 Food, once a symbol of wealth and prospe rity, was now readily available to the consumer and became merely another consumable object. The American automobile was also transformed into a consumable object by becoming an essential component of realizing the American Dream (Bigham and Monem 72). Furthermore, the concept of the open road deeply appealed to artists who associated the American highway with ideas of individual liberty and the freedom to roam the land of opportunity [as well as celebrated] the i ndividual, the all-American male and the drive of consumer culture. (Bigham and Monem 70-72) The portrayal of women in Pop art reflected the role of women as an object in mass media; in publications such as Playboy and in media advertisements ranging from refrigerators to cars, women were attractive props to appeal to the male eye in order to help sell an object to the consumer. Pop artists with former lives as or day jobs as commercial artists were certainly aware of how women and subliminal sex sold prod ucts, and took note of this role for women because [a]lmost everywhere [women] appeared in Pop painting or in Pop sculpture, women were represented as mere objects (Lucie-Smith 276). Famous women were often depicted as well, ranging from the Hollywood bombshells to the poised Jackie Kennedy. As a result, Pop artists continued and intensified a tradition that dehumanized women as objects. Women joined the ranks of food and the automobile as symbols of American success. Reception Due to the Pop artists use of familiar imagery, Pop art was immediately accessible to the wide public, and Pop art experienced an overwhelming success in the American and international markets. The Pop artists were thrust into the spotlight and were quickly embraced by dealers, collectors, institutions, and the media. Glossy ma gazines covered this new phenomenon, nouveau riche collectors clamored for it, and people who didnt know much about art responded to it because it depicted some thing familiar, something they knew. (Phillips and Haskell 129)
12 The art public grew and expanded, no l onger limited to an elite, select group of individuals. Instead, it was now a large, di ffused mass, soon to be called the public-ingeneral (Phillips and Haskell 133). Pop art was an art movement of the public: galleries and dealers saw the reaction of the public to the Pop work and took advantage of its lucrative assets. However, the critics were of an entirely different mindset than the audience. According to Phillips, Critics saw Pop as decadent, immoral, anti-humanistic, and even nihilistic. They could not abide its apparent transgression of good taste. Some also puzzled at the publics acceptance of Pop, which they took as a signal that the nature of art collecting, which for centuries meant the gathering together of rare and beautiful objects, has changed in recent years. (Phillips and Haskell 129) Many of the critics had been proponents of th e Abstract Expressionist movement and its humanistic values. With its rejection of the internal examination and seeming acceptance and glorification of consumer culture, no matter how many times the critics cried foul, the public still clamored for more, dealing a serious blow to the credibility of the critical establishment (Phillips and Ha skell 129). Although the audience relished Pop arts addiction to well-known, popular imagery, the critics severe ly opposed its use because the artist failed to transform the imagery it appropriated [It ] reduced Pop to something inauthentic, to mere copying (Phillips and Ha skell 129). Many of the critics eventually overcame their initial aversion to Pop art as they came to realize the classic method of artistic criticism, with its emphasis on structural qualities and emotive brush stroke, was inapplicable to the Pop art movement. Thus, Pop art managed to transfor m both the art history tradition and win over the critical art world.
13 Marilyn Monroe One subject in particular has come to be viewed as the epitome of Pop art: Marilyn Monroe. After successfully modeling for seve ral years, in 1946, Monroe moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting. Contracted with Fo x Studios, the executives intended Monroe to become their next manufactured Dumb Blonde . After several years being cast in minor, two-dimensional-glamour-girl roles (Doll 93), Monroe defied their expectations by taking control of her image and, c onsequently, captivated the public She was overtly sensual [but] also demure, natural, and honestalmost innocentabout her sexuality (Doll 94). Her popularity quickly grew, furthered by interviews that not only showcased her witty remarks but reinforced her image as a hot blonder bombshell who was disarmingly guileless (Doll 96). By the time her leading role in the 1953 film Niagara certified her as box-office gold, the public had long since made up its mind that Marilyn Monroe was a bona fide star (Doll 124). Her success based on the publics acceptance of her self-created image caused Monroe to state, I want to say that the people if I am a star the people made me a star. No studio, no person but the people did (Summers 237). Still, throughout her short career, Monroe continued to market herself by appearing in magazines, newspapers, and films, effectively marketing herself as an object whose sole purpose was to be consumed by the public. Monroes latter years contributed to her em ergence as one of the leading subjects of Pop art. After a tumultuous few years that had included two miscarriages, a divorce, and a voluntary entrance into a psychiatric clinic, the final weeks of her life were filled with talks about a multitude of future projects. According to Allan Whitney Snyder, Monroes personal make-up artist, she had never looked better [and] was in great spirits" (Summers 301). However, on August 5, 1962, the screen legend was found dead in her home at the age
14 of thirty-six. Her unexpected and tragic deat h generated considerable speculation in the media; for weeks, the press was filled with se nsational stories chronicling the glamour film stars extraordinary life and career and speculating on the factors that led to her tragic suicide by an overdose of sleeping pills (Bourdon 124). The consequent worldwide mourning and public interest accelerated her elevation from living screen legend to immortal media icon. As the curiosity about her continued to grow, so did her legend and myth. In life, Monroes image dominated the paper and silver screen mediums. Monroe had appeared in several artworks prior to her d eath. Willem de Kooning was the first to present her on the canvas in 1954. However, her endle ssly replicated, manufactured image captivated Pop artists as it epitomized the movements focus on using mass-produced popular imagery. In 1956, Monroe first appeared in a Pop art context during the This Is Tomorrow in the famous subway grate scene in The Seven Year Itch (fig. 2). Still, it was Monroes death in 1962 that prompted the development of her iconi c status by American Pop artists. According to Bigham and Monem, nearly 20 artists painte d her portrait during [the two years after her death] (55). Furthermore, her death coincided with the triumph of Pop Art [ sic ] in New York, and the homage paid by many Pop artists to this charming actress justifies [the thought] that, dead or alive, she was the true goddess of the movement (Pierre 106-107). As a fallen idol, one outcome of her posthumous cult status is the reverence accorded her as the goddess of the Pop art movement, and, in turn her popularity as a favorite subject among Pop artists generated even more veneration of her as an icon. The cult of Marilyn, begun in the days following her death, continued not only throughout the decade but also to the current day. Italian artist Mimmo Rotellas 1964 dcollage of the star established her ve neration worldwide while the 1967 exhibition Homage
15 to Marilyn at New Yorks Sidney Janis Gallery acknow ledged her as the quintessential icon of the Pop generation (Burleigh-Mo tley 10). In her 1985 music video for Material Girl Madonna mimicked Monroes show -stopping performance in Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend6 while Lindsay Lohan recreated Monroes Last Sitting in 2008. Artoma, a gallery located in Hamburg, Germany, organized Life As A Legend: Marilyn Monroe an international touring exhib ition with over 300 hundred images of Monroe. Begun in September 2006, the public demand for the exhi bit has extended the run of the exhibition until April 2011. Fifty-seven years later, Monr oes iconic image still holds power over the public. Thesis Overview Due to her prominence as a subject in American Pop art, I examine the establishment of Marilyn Monroe as an icon within Pop art. The proliferation of Monroe images at Pop arts height of success demonstrates that Pop artists aided in the commemoration of the revered American icon. Pop artists validated he r status as a sex goddess as well as playing a key role in promoting the idolization7 of Monroe through fracturing her image, the subject of this thesis. In Chapter One, The Establishment of Monroe as an Icon (1953-1962), I examine images of Monroe in art preceding her death though the year of her death (1953-1962). Although Monroe was considered an idol before he r death, I maintain that the idolization of Monroe was firmly established by the artists during the months immediately following 6 According to Drucker and Cathcart, Such is the currency of Monroes image that Madonna only needs to take the distinctive eye makeup, lipstick, and platinum hair to take on board everything Marilyn Monroe signifies (212). 7 The terms idol and icon are used interchangeably within this thesis as both refer to objects of worship and devotion.
16 Monroes death. I examine the fractured images of Monroe as seen in the work of Willem de Kooning and Peter Phillips to demonstrate the beginnings of the establishment of Monroe as an icon in Pop art while she was alive. To validat e Monroe as an idol in Pop art, I discuss and review the Marilyn works created by Andy Warhol, Allan DArcangelo, and James Rosenquist.8 In Chapter Two, The Affirmation of Monroe as an Icon (1963-1972), I show that, in the years after Monroes death, her popularity endured instead of waned. Her preservation as a beloved image in popular cu lture resulted in her continuation as a principal subject in Pop art. I demonstrate how artists pronounced Monroe as an idol by fracturing her image and depicting her within a celestial sphere as well as further lionizing Monroe as an idol within the ideology of the cult of the relics. I focus on the Pop artists who featured her in their work through the decade following Monroes death: Robert Indiana, Richard Hamilton, Claes Oldenburg, George Segal, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann.9 Finally, in Chapter Three, The Continuation of Monroe as an Icon (1973-Present), I examine Cyril Connollys definition of posterity and assert that Monroe has been cemented as a timeless American icon. I demonstrate Monroes enduring status as an icon through the fracturing and replicating of her image, especially when framed within a religious context. I 8 In each chapter, I have attempted to presen t the artists chronologically. However, in the occurrence of identical dates, I present the artists alphabetically. As Andy Warhol, Allan DArcangelo, and James Rosenquist all created wo rks of Monroe in the months following her death, I have chosen to present Warhol first as he began his first portrait of her soon after the announcement of her death in August 1962 [and] worked on over 30 different versions of this portrait in the two years after the stars death (Bigham and Monem 55). Due to a lack of information regarding the exact time frame in which DArcangelo and Rosenquist created their works of Monroe, they follow Warhol in alphabetical order. 9 Oldenburg, Segal, Wesselmann, and Warhol all created their works in 1967. As a result, they are examined in alphabetical order.
17 again review the works of Pop artists James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Indiana as well as examine works by Peter Blake. All of these Pop artists10 images are relevant examples of the modern idolization of women in Western Art. These images depict a modern theme in Western Art: the idolization of female celebrities. They also serve to ch allenge the practice and tradition of iconology. If Monroes iconic status was established by Pop ar tists, is it possible that another icon could arise from the collective brush strokes of today s artists? By examining this previously little explored area of art, the establishment of Marilyn Monroe as an American icon by Pop artists, I hope to draw more attention to the importance of Marilyn Monroe within the Pop art movement. 10 I have chosen only male Pop artists because very few female Pop artists have featured Monroe in their work.
18 Chapter One: The Establishment of Marilyn Monroe as an Icon (1954-1962) Marilyn Monroe is the first American G oddess our goddess of love Bert Stern In 1962, Marilyn Monroe had been one of the worlds biggest movie stars for a decade. She was also, arguably, one of the worlds most recognized figures as her image was continuously replicated; in addition to her films she appeared on the covers of international magazines and movie posters as well as in photo shoots, publicity stills, and candid photographs. In life, she seemed to have understood thatat least in the celluloid world where she had staked her claimones picture could be used like currency, traded freely to help everyone involved earn money and fame . [S]he wa s throughout her life unguarded about, even promiscuous with, images of herself Photography slingshot her into an orbit all her own as perhaps the worlds most recognized woman when she was alive. (Woodward 15) Even in death, her image continued to domin ate due to the mass media frenzy following the report of her probable suicide. From Augus t to September 1962, nothing was more popular than Marilyn [Monroe], [her] face adorned newspapers around the world as their readers reeled from the news of her death (Coskun). He r image continued to saturate the media, her haunting visage seeming to confront the world endlessly. In the weeks following her death, Monroe continued to be a current, popular image, and she quickly became a favorite subject am ong Pop artists. Artists such as Andy Warhol, Allan DArcangelo, and James Rosenquist, began their portraits of Monroe days after the announcement of her death. Monroe had been depict ed in artworks prior to her death; Willem
19 de Kooning and Peter Phillips examined the de veloping idolization of Monroe during her climb to stardom. As Pop artists further explored Monroes iconic status, they contributed to veneration for her as a beloved American i dol. By presenting Monroe on the canvas and consequently fracturing her image Pop artists further established Monroe as an icon worthy of exaltation. Willem de Kooning: Marilyn Monroe as Art A leading figure in Abstract Expressionism, Willem de Kooning (Dutch/American, 1904-1997) was the first artist to depict Monroe on the canvas. Although de Kooning was not a Pop artist, he explores Monroes developi ng iconic status by abstracting her image and defining Monroe through her key characteristics. De Kooning emerged as a pioneer of th e new style with his 1948 composition, Painting but it was his 1953 exhibition of the Woman series that brought de Kooning to prominence. Featuring garish, overpoweringly repellent renditions of women on monumental canvases, de Kooning displayed a unique ab ility to shift between representational and abstract modes, which he never held to be mutually exclusive (Arnason and Kalb 413). Although other Abstract Expressionists turned away from the use of representational imagery, the figure remained a key component in de Koonings work for he believed even abstract shapes must have a likeness (Arnas on and Kalb 413). His combination of abstract images and recognizable forms led him to e xplore other recognizable figures in popular imagery, such as Hollywood stars. De Kooning explores a budding starlet in his work, Marilyn Monroe 1954 (fig. 3). The painting is dominated by an abstract yet recognizably female figure. The figure of the woman is grotesque in that her proportions ar e completely unrealistic: one of her eyes is
20 halfway off the face, her head is dwarfed by her expansive shoulders, her breasts overpower the torso, and her thin legs should not be ab le to support her massive girth. The fragmented woman is set against the de Kooning na med no-environment, an anonymous and indefinite background [that left] the possibility for a multiplicity of places and situations (Grunenberg and Starh, De Kooning). A coll ar can be seen around her neck, and buttoned cuffs around her wrists render Monroe in a long-sleeved, collared dress. Yet the differences in colors also suggest an image of her weari ng a long-sleeved shirt and knee-length skirt. The vibrant color palette is composed of red, ye llow, several hues of green, violet, mauve, blue, pink, white, and black. The background is predominantly white with some dribbles of color, but the upper left corner of the work features a violent mixture of blue, purple, and emerald green. The emerald green extends above the blonde head of Monroe. Monroe herself is depicted with pinkish white skin, blonde hair, bl ack eyes, red lips, red top, white sleeves, and a yellow skirt outlined in fern green. The brush strokes are dramatic, often violent. They impart a dynamic energy to the work by outlining Monroes body and her essen tial features. Horizontal strokes accent the waist (or, in this instance, the lack there-of); a sweeping gesture draw attention to the shape of the right breast, and de Kooning uses faint gray to outline Monroes arms and legs. As his brush strokes have been layered on the canvas in a multitude of directions, the image is effectively flattened. However, the positioning of the right arm in front of Monroes body and the highlighted roundness of the right breast a ppear to hint at a three-quarter pose of the figure. Without the title, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to identify this as Marilyn Monroe rather than as a revisiting of his Woman series. However, because it is titled Marilyn
21 Monroe we are able to sense from de Koonings abstraction that he has identified the most crucial aspects of her image: the blonde hair, the eyes, the smiling mouth with the blood-red lips, her legs, and the feminine curves of he r body. He has even included a small brown dot as a reference to her beauty mark. Consequently, he is highlighting the greatest aspect of her image: her sexuality. It is a c ontinuation of the theme explored by de Kooning in his Woman paintings. Each canvas presents a woman who was an overpowering, at times repellent, but hypnotic evocation of woman as sex symbol and fertility goddess (Arnason and Kalb 413). De Kooning affirms this interpre tation by stating his images ha d to do with the female painted through all the ages, all those idols, by which he could have meant a Greek Venus, a Renaissance nude, a Picasso portrait, or a cu rvaceous American movie star, with her big ferocious grin (Arnason and Kalb 413-414). By singling out Marilyn Monroe rather than referring to her as yet another numbered Woman he is directly commenting on his own interpretation of Monroe as a sex symbol. With the mention of fertility goddess, De Koonings crude, curvaceous rendition brings to mind the Venus of Willendorf 24,000 BC 22,000 BC (fig. 4). Widely believed to be some form of fertility goddess, the Venus of Willendorf is one of the most famous, earliest forms of the female figure in the history of art. Drawing on the most familiar features of engorged breasts and voluminous proportions, de Kooning references the Venus of Willendorf through Marilyn Monroe Cernuschi supports this as de Kooning related his paintings of women to prehistoric fertility figures such as the so-called Venus figurine from the area of Willendorf, Austria or to figures in popular culture, as in his Marilyn Monroe. De Kooning could be making a similar statement about Monroe by stating that his depiction of Monroe is a predecessor to potential images of women in the next era of art. Paul
22 Schimmel affirms this thought by noting that [ De Kooning] opened the door again for artists to engage with and respond to popular imagery (20). Furthermore, de Koonings rendition of Monroe was created early in Monroes career, thus demonstrating de Koonings prescience in regard to Monroes future impact on popular culture and establishing her as a figure worthy of artistic representation. De Kooning has begun to establish Monroe as a contemporary idol in Marilyn Monroe De Koonings decision to create an artistic rendition of Monroe suggests that she was more than just another actress manufactured for th e silver screen. He could have chosen other famous and legendary actresses, such as Joan Crawford or Betty Grable. Instead, he chose Monroe and fragmented her into easily recogni zable pieces of her sexualized public images, yet his fragmentation of Monroe to an almost unrecognizable figure permits an alternative exploration of her image. Although de Kooning depicts a Monroe drastically and horrifically different from the real Monroe, the viewer is forced to view her from De Koonings alternative perspective. The viewer is face-to-face with an image of Monroe not as the desired product of a movie studio but as an in terpretation of a member of the public. The viewer must then search for the consistenc ies between the well-known image of Monroe and de Koonings work, further cementing Monroe in their mind. With de Koonings decision to depict Monroe as the icon she is to American culture, he is not only permitting but also encouraging others to view her in a similar, iconic manner. His depiction affirms Monroe as a significant figure in popular culture, a significance deserving of artistic commemoration. De Koonings 1954 Marilyn Monroe is the earliest artistic representation of Monroe. By fragmenting her public image into the ba sic Monroe characteristics, de Kooning comments on how quickly Monroe has been integrated into American culture. By drawing a
23 parallel to the Venus of Willendorf he also effectively establishes Monroe as an icon of cultural significance, thus allowing other artists to employ her idolized figure in future works. Peter Phillips: Marilyn Monroe as a Religious Figure When depicting Monroe, many Pop artists chose to include a photographed image from a newspaper or magazine rather than provi de their own rendering of her famous visage. One such artist is Peter Phillips (British, b. 1939) During his training at the Royal College of Art in London (1958-1962), he began experime nting with popular imagery in his work. Initially drawn to the images that had appealed to him as a teenager, he slowly incorporated mass media into his work and from his second ye ar at the RCA revealed himself as the most severe practitioner of the Pop aesthetic in Britain (Livingstone, Pop Art 96). Phillips viewed his use of popular imagery as an inherently natural practice. In the catalogue for the New Generation Exhibition, Phillips explained: My awareness of machines, advertising, and mass communications is not probably in the same sense as an older generation thats been without these factors; Ive been conditioned by them and grew up with it all and use it without a second thought, I wouldnt analyze these images in a way that an artist of an older generation might. Ive lived with them ever since I can remember and so its natural to use them without thinking. Im basically interested in painting and not just a presentation of imagery. (172) His early work reflects his adherence to a pure Pop aesthetic through the presentation of modern images in a rigid structure. Phillipss For Men OnlyStarring MM and BB 1961 (fig. 5) presents Monroe within the rigid structure of his Pop aesthetic. It is split into three horizontal sections, each featuring a different background color: red, white, and wood paneling. The first section, red, is filled with an outline of a rectangle with inflated round corners, outlined in white, black, and gray-
24 blue. Inside this outlined rectangle are three more levels: a large rectangle, two pictures cut out from a magazine, and two framed stars. The rectangle is painted brown, with a white splotch on the right and the letter x and cert. written on the left. Below the white splotch is a colored picture of the face Marilyn Monroe while a color image of Brigitte Bardots face is below the X. Directly under Monroe and Bardot are framed stars: the star on the left is golden yellow on a purple background; the star on the right has reversed coloring. Behind the image of Bardot, a purple shape fills the b ackground while a navy blue suffuses the area behind Monroes photo. To the right of Monroe s face is a hand, clenching a white object, which is connected to the black arm of a large shape permeating an area from the top of the second section of the painting and under the right star. To the right of the blob is the word tortoise in a small, purple typeface. The second section of the painting features a white backdrop with a hare superseding a gold oval with jagged edges. In the sunbur st is the reversed headline ELVIS FOR BRITAIN from an issue of the pop music paper Melody Maker The beginning of the black shape begins just above the hares ears. The ha res head is lifelike, yet its body is colored a dark blue and is covered with gold circles containing letters. These letters spell out, shes a doll followed by the name of the stripper featured in the lower portion. The third section features four indivi dual canvases framed by panels of polished wood. Showcasing the erotic dance of a carefully painted stripper in black and white, these panels assume the role of peepholes rather than act as simple frames. The first frame presents the back of the stripper, clothed in black unde rgarments, her back to the audience with her arms outstretched. The second frame shows the stripper facing the viewer, her body slightly turned, while her arms remain outstretched and her head thrown back. Phillips has masked
25 her identity by placing a bright white strip over the womans eyes. The third frame also features the stripper facing the viewer against a black background, her eyes still marked by the white strip. One arm is seen behind her head while the other remains hidden from sight. The final frame reveals the stripper set against a red background once more, facing the viewer, her eyes masked by a white strip, and her arms behind her. The color palette is bold and vibrant as it features the primary colors in addition to purple, brown, black, and white. Although Phillips repeatedly uses rectangles throughout the piece, it fails to establish unity within the work. This disunity is furthered by the dissimilarity11 between the images. As a result, there is a prevalent collage element throughout the piece. The lurid color palette is similar to the colors of a game board. Phillips intentionally structured his early paintings around the game fo rmat for he defined a game as that type of thing, a big image subdivided into little pictur es, and you would play this, so that the thing became a sort of visual game where more or less anything could be acceptable (Phillips and Livingstone 21-22). Critics also noted Phillips use of game formats: Phillips hard paintings manipulate contemporary iconography in game formats (Smith, Peter Phillips 100). The revelation of Phillips use of the game format aids in the overall comprehension of the piece, especially in regard to the inclusi on of such dissimilar objects, like the role of the figure with the outstretched arm. This arm functions as a sort of stand-in for the spectator, encouraging one to approach the painting and to take part in its games (Phillips and 11 In an interview with Marco Livingstone, Phillips defined the combination of different images as a key characteristic of his work: Everything is worked out totally intuitively Its to do with placement and balance of th ese often very dissimilar elements against each other (Phillips and Livingstone 160).
26 Livingstone 26). The idea of game extends to the interpretation of the piece. Phillips and Livingstone stress that there is no single reso lution, no magic key to unlocking its meaning. In order to experience the painting fully, each spectator must work out a logic that satisfies him or herself (26). Furthermore, through the use of format, Phillips is able to present an initial impression of neutrality, thus encouraging viewers to bring their own views to the work. By structuring the piece around the game fo rmat, Phillips encourages a wide array of individual interpretation, yet the pictorial organization reveals itself to be integral as an aid in the viewers overall understanding. Critics have often viewed the work as similar to a pre-Renaissance altarpiece. Phillips denies any direct allusions yet admits that [although his] attitude to painting hasnt been motivated by this its something you can tie it to (Peter Phillips 172). When compared with Giottos Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints (Ognissanti Madonna) c.13051310 (fig. 6), it is possible to note stylistic similarities between the two as both feature a well-balanced composition with a tall vertical fo rmat organized around a central axis. Just as Giottos work is balanced by an even number of figures on both sides of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus, Phillips work is equally balanced by an even number of images. Giotto clearly establishes four levels within his work: the two angels at the bottom of the altarpiece, the angels flanking the Virgin Marys throne, the heads of the Virgin Mary and Christ, and the top of the throne. Phillips echoes this hierarchy: the images of the stripper compose the lowest tier, the hare creates a second order, th e star emblems constitute the third tier, and the images of Monroe, Bardot, and the raised arm against the colored rectangle construct the fourth tier. This order establishes a growing importance and tension within For Men Only Starring MM and BB with a heightened importance on Monroe and Bardot. By using the
27 constructive devices of pre-Renaissance Italian altarpieces in conjunction with contemporary popular imagery, Phillips elevates the image of Monroe to a celestial level and establishes her as an icon. The key figures of Phillips work are Marilyn Monroe and Brigitte Bardot, a reference to Aesops fable of The Tortoise and the Hare, and multiple images of a stripper. According to Phillips and Livingstone, the ima ges of Monroe and Bardot were magazine photographs that he happened to have lying around, rather than images which he had consciously sought out (25-26). Although Ph illips may not have consciously sought out their images, his use of Monroe and Bardot reflects the abundance and availability of their images to the masses, thus reflecting their reve red status within popular culture. Furthermore, as Phillips is a British artist, the piece reflects their worldwide influence. As the most celebrated pin-ups of the current day, Monroe and Bardot occupy an elevated position as they are placed near the top of the work. Furthermore, as they are situated above the stars, they can even be viewed, as Phillips and Livingstone observed, as visual puns: Monroe and Bardot, successful stars in the heavens in the company of star figures. The road to fame is arduous; thus, the slow and steady wins the race moral taught by The Tortoise and the Hare can be applie d as the connecting link between the stripper and Monroe and Bardot. Through her uplifted arms and thrown-back head, the nameless, unidentifiable stripper seems to take on a tone of desperation: she desires to ascend to the same level as her idols. With her name spelle d out on the back of the hare, she is attempting to find a quick rise to fame although the combination of the tortoise and victorious arm gently remind the viewer that the slow and steady way is what wins this fame game in the end. With their position and expressionless faces similar to that of the Virgin Mary in an
28 altarpiece, the stripper clearly idolizes these women and yearns to be idolized in the same way. By combining the use of popular imagery and the stylistic qualities of an Italian altarpiece in a game format, Phillips allows a freedom in the interpretation of his piece, especially in regard to the inclusion of the images of Monroe and Bardot. Phillips incorporation of Monroe within the work comments on her status as a popular icon. However, it is through his creation of a hierarchy in For Men OnlyStarring MM and BB similar to that of Giottos Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints (Ognissanti Madonna) that Phillips effectively establishes Monroe as an icon of cultural significance, continuing the exploration de Kooning began in 1954. Andy Warhol: Marilyn Monroe as a Popular Icon Andy Warhol (American, 1928-1987) is another artist who depicted Marilyn Monroe through a photograph and framed her within a religious devotional object. As a successful commercial illustrator, Andy Warhol gained fame for his whimsical ink drawings of I.M. Miller shoe advertisements. During the early sixties, he rose quickly to international prominence in the art world with his distinctive Warhol style paintings: his silkscreened depictions of subjects featuring popular imagery ranging from dollar bills to celebrities. The public responded favorably to his use of popul ar, well-known imagery as his subjects while art critics were horrified by it. In creating his own style, Warhol slowly diminished and eventually eliminated the artists hand in his work. First by using silkscr eening, the diminution of the artists hand was taken further through his construction of his studio, The Factory, and the employment of several assistants to aid in the production of the images. One of the artists interviewed in
29 G.R. Swensons infamous What Is Pop Art article, when asked his aim, Warhol stated, The reason Im painting this way is that I want to be a machine, and I feel that whatever I do and do machine-like is what I want to do (L ivingstone and Cameron 56). His works often repeated the images, for he observed, w hen you see a gruesome picture over and over again, it doesnt really have any effect (Hopkins 117). Furthermore, Warhol was commenting on the affective numbing brought on by repeated exposure to the mass media (Hopkins 117). Thus, despite the wide variety of subjects, his artwork is unified by an element of cool detachment. Warhol is consider ed one of the leading figures of the Pop art movement. Within weeks of Marilyn Monroes deat h in 1962 and continuing well into 1967,12 Warhol created a number of work s featuring Monroe, including Marilyn Diptych 1962 (fig. 7) Marilyn Diptych is a massive silkscreen painting, measuring almost seven feet tall and six feet wide. Using a publicity still from her 1953 film, Niagara (fig. 8),13 Monroes head is repeated fifty times across two panels of canvas, twenty-five to each panel, arranged in fiveby-five rows. At first, Monroes face appears identical in each frame, giving the painting a unified appearance. However, each face differs from its neighbors in some way. On the left canvas, Warhol has colored the images: the background is golden rod, Monroes hair has been painte d golden yellow, her clothes and eyelids are both cyan, and her face is a cherry blossom pink. The right canvas has been kept black and white. The colored images have more or less been presented identically with only the slightest differences in 12 [H]e continued to paint and contributed significantly to the growing interest in limited edition prints through works such as the Marilyn portfolio of ten screenprints published in 1967 (Feldman et al. 39). 13 I have also included a Niagara still entitled Mechanical (Marilyn) (fig. 8a) because of Warhols mark-ups on the image in preparation for future Marilyn works.
30 shading between the images; however, the black and white images differ from each other, radically in some instances. Several images of Monroe have been shaded heavily, disfiguring Monroes face, and in one picture in partic ular, her face is unrecognizable. Yet in eleven other photos, Monroe is faded in some manner, ranging from a slight lightening of the original photo to almost complete disappearance. Another contrast integral to the painting is Warhols decision to include the darkest and lightest Monroe in the same horizontal row. Warhols Marilyn Diptych is, in fact, a diptych and suggests a connection with works of sacred idolatry. A diptych is defined as an object with two flat plates attached by a hinge. During Late Antiquity, the diptych was a popular art form and often celebrated a persons election to Roman consul, the highest elect ed political office in the Roman Republic. Although diptychs are not inherently religious, they have religious connotations because of their ecclesiastical popularity. In early Christian literature, the diptych often referred to the official lists of the living and dead who had b een communicated by the church; the list of the living would be on one panel of the diptych, the dead on the other. From this clerical beginning, the diptych evolved into a popular art form in Christian imagery; the panels were often a matching set, such as Jan van Eycks Diptych of the Annunciation 1441 (fig. 9). A practical advantage to the panels were that the hinges that joined them also allowed them to be folded together for transport, and so the hinged diptych became a type of traveling icon. Born to Rusyn parents in Pittsburgh and reared in the Byzantine Catholic Church, Warhol would have been acquainted with church icons.14 14 Warhol worshipped at the St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during his childhood and continued attending church throughout his life. As he worshipped at a church with such vivid imagery (fig. 10) during his formative years, many art historians, like David Bourdon, wonder about the influence the churchs interior may have had on Warhols Pop style. According to Bourdon, Though Warhols Marilyn is
31 Although Warhol denies any intended symbolism for any of his Marilyns ,15 many critics have neverthele ss attempted to uncover deeper meaning. This critical hunt is especially true in the case of the Marilyn Diptych because it is a diptych. Some have observed the contrast of vivid colour [ sic ] with black and white, and the effect of fading in the right panel are suggestive of the stars mortality ( Marilyn Diptych 1962). This interpretation echoes the use of the literary dipt ych, as the colorful images of Monroe appear to represent Monroe in life while the black and white photographs reflect a sober view of her mortality. The color paintings are practically identical and, thus, can be interpreted as a commentary on the Monroe image that was presen ted to the public. This viewpoint is shared by Bigham and Monem as Warhol also used bold, nave strokes of colour [ sic ] to further emphasise [ sic ] the blonde hair and glamour make-up so often associated with her public image . The floating use of colour [ sic ] denotes the superficiality of her Hollywood image, the mask that concealed the sadness which led to her suspected suicide. (55) Although Warhol may deny any symbolism in his pieces, due to the harsh color contrasts between the two panels as well as the titling of his piece as a diptych, the viewer has no choice but to view the imagery in an iconic c ontext. Warhol presents Monroe not as Rose Loomis, her character from Niagara or even as a sex symbol; instead, he has effectively transformed her into an idol worthy of worship. The idolization of Monroe in Marilyn Diptych is undeniable. With the blatant contrast between the glamorized images of Monroe on the left in comparison to the plainer photos on the left, Warhol represents Monroes status as successful movie star exalted to the level of a perhaps an unusually florid counterpart to the saints portrayed in ceiling mosaics in eastern Catholic churches, it is nonetheless clear that the artist symbolically canonized her (130). 15 Andy Warhol: "I just see Marilyn as just anothe r person. As for whether it's symbolical to paint Monroe in such... colours [ sic ]; it's beauty and if something's beautiful it's pretty colours [ sic ], that's all or something" (Berg 88).
32 religious idol. Her idolization is further strengthened by Warhols choice to color the background in golden yellow. According to Onasch and Schnieper, The ideal background of an icon, that is, the background most corres ponding to iconographic essence, would be gold as a non-color, as the color of imperial et ernity, which consumes all material objects (273). Livingstone further compares Monroes likeness to an icon when he writes that her masklike [ sic ] face acquires an iconic quality (Warhol, Andy). Warhol presented Monroe as society had come to revere her: she was no longer an ordinary living movie star but a classic Hollywood legend, bigger than lif e, an object to be idolized. In presenting Monroe, Warhol chose not to draw his own interpretation of Monroe but to base his work on a photograph. Accordi ng to Bigham and Monem, He based the work on Gene Kormans publicity still from the film that launched her into stardom in 1953; Niagara an image showing her flush in her prime ni ne years earlier, with her characteristic mix of vulnerable, childish innocence and sexual allure (55). It is important to note that Warhol chose a publicity still of Monroe rather than a candid image of her. As a publicity still is typically taken while on the set during th e production of a film, this image of Monroe was taken in order to promote the film. In cont rast, a candid shot is typically taken at any opportunity, such as Monroe disembarking from a plane or attending a premiere party, and the candid photo captures more of the actual person in a more ordinary, natural setting. In using a publicity still, [n]o matter how distorted, the image of Marilyn [would be] instantly recognizable [ sic ] (Bigham and Monem 55). By presenting an already well-known and popular image in the manner of a diptych, War hol is able to transform Monroe from a promotional tool to an image of an idol worthy of worship.
33 Furthermore, Warhols choice of the Niagara publicity still over a candid shot favors the Monroe image; she is in character, the studios object for sale. The viewer sees only that image of Monroe rather than the ordinary person behind that image. The focus on the public image is even more apparent when compared with a photograph of Marilyn Monroe with Joe DiMaggio at the premiere of the Seven Year Itch 1959 (fig. 11). Although the viewer is aware that it is an image of Monroe at a pre miere of her own movie, the focus is on Monroe and her escort, and the viewer is prompted to consider who these people are, how they feel, what they think about their current situation. Thus, with Marilyn Diptych Warhol effectively transforms Monroe from a recently deceased actress to a lionized idol. Warhol created another work in the format of the diptych, Marilyn Monroes Lips 1962 (fig. 12). The work, a silkscreen painting, is as massive as Marilyn Diptych with each panel measuring almost seven feet tall and wide. Again, using the publicity still from her 1953 film, Niagara Warhol removed Monroes mouth and replicated it across the two panels of canvas, eighty-six to each panel, arranged in seven-by-twelve rows. Due to the nature of the silkscreen, although it is the same mouth re peated, none are identical Each mouth differs from its neighbors in some way. The left ca nvas features a moss green background while the lips remain as they appeared in the publicity still: black and white. The lips on the right canvas have been colored red by Warhol and se t against a cherry blossom pink background. Like with Marilyn Diptych Warhol uses the format of the diptych to present Monroe in life and death. The left canvas refers to Monroes morality: the moss green is the sickly pallor of the deceased while the black lips serv e as a reminder of the bodys inevitable decay. The right canvas represents Monroe in life: her cherry blossom pink skin flush with life, her lips vibrantly red with the lipstick Monroe herself carefully applied.
34 Monroes lipstick regimen is still a popular subject of beauty forums, ranging from the type of lip brush to the bands of the rumored five different shades of red lipstick she used to achieve her notorious red. Makeup was an instrumental tool in creating Marilyn Monroe. According to Leigh, It took Marilyn and [Whitney Snyder, her makeup artist] anywhere between one and a half to a full three hours to work the magic that turned her from Norma Jeane [ sic ] into the Marilyn fans wanted and expected (55). Her luscious lips were among her most identifiable characteristics. By featuring her lips on the canvas, Warhol draws attention to both their identifiable and iconic qualities. The isolated feature also brings to mind th e cult of relics. Often the physical remains of an important figure, relics came to be worshipped in their own right, creating a cult of the relics during the early years of Christianity. As a cult of Marilyn developed in the months after Monroes death (Mamiya 99-103), the prolif eration of Monroe images created by artists can be viewed as contributing to its spread. The publics obsession w ith Monroe was whetted by her own eternal words in her unfinished aut obiography: I knew I belonged to the Public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else (124). By using one of Monroes most identifiable features, Warhol conveys the whole of Monroe through one singular part: her lips. Furthermore, he has indicated Monroes sheer power as an icon as she is recognizable by her lips alone. With Marilyn Monroes Lips Warhol uses both the diptych and the cult of the relics to establish Monroe as an icon. Warhol continues exploring Monroes iconic qualities in Gold Marilyn Monroe 1962 (fig. 13). Another massive piece, it measures almost seven feet in height and five feet in width. It has been painted gold with the cr opped publicity shot of Marilyn Monroe from her
35 1953 film, Niagara in the absolute center of the work. Monroes silkscreened image has been created from a poor quality print as evidenced in the slightly blurry details of Monroes face. (fig. 13a) The poor quality of Monroes image is matched by th e ragged, painted gold of the canvas. The gold paint is uneven with notic eable differences in the layers of paint in some areas, such as the obvious heavy brush strokes in the upper left corner. However, it is Warhols garish coloring of Monroes face that catches the eye. Monroes face has been painted an unrealistic rose pink while her hair has been given a bright yellow hue. Warhol employs a matching shade of vivid turquoise for Monroes eye shadow and her collar. A deep, dark red colors Monroes lips in stark contrast to the bright whiteness of her teeth. Warhol has also accented the mole on her right cheek, her fake eyelashes, and her eyebrows. Overall, the poor quality of Monroes visage, the variable paint, and peculiar accents create an uneasy tone in Golden Marilyn Monroe. Warhol has chosen to paint traditional make-up areas (the eyelids, the lips, the face) to enhance facial features with exaggerated colo rs or, as critic Adam Gopnik so aptly said, a lipstick-and-peroxide palette (109). The rose pink stands for foundation, the turquoise for eye shadow, the dark red for the lipstick. He exaggerates the appearance of her eyebrows, eyelashes, and moles by blackening them boldly. By exaggerating these features of Monroes image, he draws attention to her most rec ognizable physical traits. Furthermore, he transforms her face into a mask, obscuring any hint of the woman behind the image. Thus, the painting is not so much a portrait of Mar ilyn Monroe the person as it is a commemoration of the Marilyn Monroe legend and icon presented to the public. This idea of commemoration is further supported through Warhols decision to continue using the publicity still from Niagara It was not an arbitrary image of Monroe but
36 instead, an [emblem] of [her] beauty, glamour and star quality that [she] and the film studios had chosen to represent them to their public (Livingstone and Cameron 116). Because of this glamorized image against a golden bac kground, some critics have suggested Warhol is presenting a visual pun in that the actress is a gold mine (Salus 206). However, others recall a similar use of gold background in Christian art, such as the background in The Cambrai Madonna (Notre-Dame de Grce) ca. 1340 (fig. 14). Like the Cambrai Madonna Gold Marilyn Monroe presents a centralized image floating amidst a golden background. Like the Madonna, the idolatry of Monroe ha s been accentuated by the adornment of a halo, although Monroes has been provided by the edges of the silkscreened image. The gaudy palette of Monroes face can even be view ed as a technique to exaggerate her exalted status because Monroe would not be the r ecognizable Marilyn Monroe to her audience without it. Thus, Warhols interpretation of the essential characteristics of Monroe is instrumental in the steady progression toward the establishment of Monroe as an icon. Warhol created numerous Marilyn works after her death, but the image of Monroe in Gold Marilyn Monroe is one of the few works in which he chose to present only one image of Monroe. In addition, it is the the only one of Warhol's Marilyns to use [gold] (Museum of Modern Art 241). Thus, Monroe is effec tively depicted like an icon (Phillips and Haskell 126). It is clear Warhol has created a celestial sphere for the actress, whose death precipitated the series, by floating her face against a metallic gold background. Monroes portrait focuses strictly on the face. The pronounced use of yellow for her famous hair, turquoise for eyeshadow [ sic ], and intense red for full lips on this commemorative icon further her image as a desirable object. (Salus 197)
37 Thus, he has established Monroes status as an icon by presenting her as such. In Warhols work, she has transcended from living legend and screen goddess to religious icon with saintly and iconic overtones. Allan DArcangelo: Marilyn Monroe as a Cult Figure Warhol was not the only artist to explore Monroe within the themes of religious iconography. Allan DArcangelo (American, 1930 -1998) drew upon early Christian practices in his own depiction of Monroe. He is best known for his paintings of signs, the American highway landscape, and his incorporation of political themes. However, his first foray into art in 1962 began with an examination of popula r American imagery, and he developed an equally formal hard-edge aesthetic geared to maximum impact. The main features of his paintings were strong, flat areas of colour [ sic ], decisive outline and a concentration on the image in its simplest a nd most immediately recognizable form (Livingstone, Pop Art 83). In his work, DArcangelo aimed for clarity and simplicity: I wanted to shorten the distance between meaning and metaphor. I had things to say wanted to do this in the most direct way possible, while at the same time, divesting the work of references to arts immediate historical past in order to make the content more available and immediate. I looked for a visual language that would be broadly communicable, direct and clear and that was the intimate part of my experience. I drew on a memory of real visualizations, rather than art visualizations, to find that common language The particular look of these paintings comes from working in a way that was directly opposed to many of the sacred canons of expressionism, abstract or otherwise. They are without gesture, without brush stroke, without color modulation, without mysticism and wit hout personal angst because these qualities would have obscured th e intention of the paintings. The work is pretty much preconceived, and the execution is relatively mechanical. (Livingstone and Cameron 41) His hard-edged aesthetic and use of familiar imagery made it easy for critics to classify DArcangelo as a Pop artist, and with that criti cal validation, he broa dened the definition of Pop to consider characteristic s beyond an individual style.
38 One of the earliest paintings to establish DArcangelo as a Pop artist was Marilyn 1962 (fig. 15). It is a large canvas, measuring a lmost five feet tall and wide and featuring a faceless Marilyn Monroe: her missing features (her left eye, right eyebrow, left eyebrow, smiling mouth, nose, and right eye) are arranged in a vertical row on the right side, a pair of scissors hangs below the right eye near the bottom edge of the canvas. Although her face is featureless, DArcangelo has included lettered lines on Monroes face that correspond to the lettered tabs on the removed facial features. The background is divided between two colors: two-thirds of the canvas has been painted azure while the remaining third is a stark white. DArcangelo chooses to feature only Monroes upper body and her head, with the bust of Monroe set against the azure and her removed facial features placed in the white. However, with a portion of Monroes arm foregrounded against the white, Monroe appears to be the foremost object in the painting. The image of Monroe DArcangelo drew upon for his painting is from a photograph taken of Monr oe as Grand Marshall for the Miss America Parade in September of 1952 (fig. 16). The dre ss from the photo is identifiable as the dress DArcangelo replicated in his painting because of the similarity in the style of the neckline and straps as well as the pattern of the polka dots. Thus, DArcangelo presents not the most recent memory of Monroe but instead a young Hollywood starlet at the beginning of her rise to fame. DArcangelo uses a subtle, realistic color pa lette for the bust of Monroe: the hair is blonde with brown lowlights, Monroes skin is depicted in a flesh tone, and her dress is a white sleeveless dress with subtle pink polka dots. However, the individual body parts feature a more vibrant palette: the eyes are a vivid blue and lined by black eyeliner, the jet black curve of her eyebrows echoes her eyeliner, and her smiling mouth has been painted a
39 deep red. A distinct black border outlin es Monroe, further emphasizing her central prominence in the work. The individual body parts have also been outlined in black, yet the features composing the bust have not. Instead, Monroes jaw line, collarbones, and cleavage have been shaded gray while the curls of her hair have been indicated by the use of sepia brown. With the stark presentation of Monroe and the subtle palette, DArcangelo presents a sterile image of Monroe. DArcangelo highlights the key components of Monroe by separating her body parts, specifically, her body, her eyes, her eyebrows, her mouth, and her nose. Although the body is a bigger form than the individual parts, the outlining of each separate feature emphasizes the greater importance of the characteristic over the whole of Monroes body. Thus, DArcangelo has defined Monroe by her features as well as drawn attention to the viewers ability to recognize the fractured image as Monroe. Like Warhol, by separating each well-known feature, DArcangelo references the cult of the relics and, consequently, the cult of Marilyn. This is furthered by the inclusion of the scissors and lettered lines as they encourage the viewer to both piece together Monroe yet also to take a piece of Monroe for himself. The ideology of the power of the whole is projected through the individual parts. DArcangelo s contribution to the pictorial assets of her cult is his preservation of the ingnue ima ge of Monroe, the Monroe who had first won over the public. The position of Monroes body also references a revered artwork: Leonardo da Vincis Mona Lisa c. 1503-1506 (fig. 17). By presenting the slightly turned, upper torso of Monroe, DArcangelo appears to comment on Monr oes status as one of the most celebrated women in the world to the fame of the woman of the worlds most famous painting (Riding
40 E7). After the mysterious theft of the Mona Lisa in August 1911, the fame of the painting grew immensely due to the production of coun tless reproductions and was even caricatured in the works of Dadaists and Surrealists, including Salvador Dals Self portrait as Mona Lisa 1954 (fig. 18). Thus, the loss of Monroe and the artistic outpouring in response to her mysterious death can be viewed in a similar ma nner: a tribute to the loss of a popular icon. DArcangelos Marilyn commemorates the impact Monroe had in popular culture, raising her to celebrated icon. By abstracting her image, DArcangelo creates a readymade relic of Monroes most identifiable features just as the remains of saints became holy relics of the early Christian church. His presentation of Monroes figure borrows from da Vincis Mona Lisa drawing similarities between the fame of two celebrated images. Thus, by his references to earlier historical art practices DArcangelo has contributed to establishing Monroe as an icon. James Rosenquist: Marilyn Monroe Fragmented Yet Recognizable Many artists, like James Rosenquist (American, b. 1933), chose to reduce Monroe to her key characteristics, effectively fracturing her image in their examination of her status as an icon, noting the viewers ability to recognize Monroe even if she is not fully represented. Rosenquist achieved success in the 1960s for his large-scale, collage-like paintings. According to Livingstone, Rosenquist was one of the central figures of American Pop ( Pop Art 84). Although trained as a painter, he gained first-hand experience in 1953 and 1954 as a painter of gasoline signs, gas tanks and refinery equipment in Wisconsin, of grain elevators in North Dakota and of billboards in the Minneapolis area; even after settling in New York [in 1957] he continued painting billboards in Brooklyn and Times Square, and in 1960 he also painted backdrops for window displays at so me of the most fashionable department stores. (Livingstone, Pop Art 84)
41 Rosenquist had experimented with abstraction while studying art, but he had noticed while painting his own billboards that parts of the image had looked almost abstract when he was in proximity to them, and that grandeur could be achieved with the most mundane motif when it was made to dominate the viewers field of vision (Livingstone, Pop Art 84). As a result, he began implementing these techni ques into his own work, focusing especially on abstracting the images and on the issue of scale. Rosenquist wanted to project the powerfu l motivation of the large-scale images he had created on numerous billboards into the object s he painted in his small-scale paintings. One of the artists interviewed in G.R. Swen sons What Is Pop Art article, Rosenquist stated, I geared myself, like an advertiser or a large company, to commercial advertising which is one of the foundations of our society. Im living in it, and it has such impact and excitement in its means of imagery. Painting is probably more exciting than advertising so why shouldnt it be done with that power and gusto, that impact My metaphor, if that is what you can call it, is my relations to the power of commercial advertising which is in turn related to our free society, the visual inflation which accompanies the money that produces box tops and space cadets (Livingstone and Cameron 56) He drew inspiration from the commonplace ima ges [of] advertising and poster art (Livingstone, Pop Art 84) he had been instructed to paint on billboards in his studio and discovered the impact of these images were due more to the isolation of a mass-produced object than the size of the canvas. Conseque ntly, he discovered this impact could be maintained on a smaller scale. Rosenquist was deemed a Pop artist by critics for his accurate, almost photographic, portrayal of popular imagery and his distant tone as both are integral characteristics of Pop art. Livingstone noted, In many of his pictur es of the early 1960s Rosenquist chose images that were a decade or so out of date, not to elicit a nostalgic response but to play on their
42 familiarity and to give them a force as thundering clichs ( Pop Art 86). Rosenquist was unique as a Pop artist in his preference for outdated, albeit recognizable, media images. The death of the thirty-six-year old Ma rilyn Monroe prompted Rosenquist to create Marilyn Monroe, I 1962 (fig. 19). Viewed as a tribute to Monroe, Rosenquist inverted, fragmented, and partially obscured [Monroes] image with a superimposed portion of her name (Gallery label text: Marilyn Monroe, I James Rosenquist). As the canvas measures more than seven feet in height, Monroes face is larger than life as it often appeared on the movie screen, theatre lobby posters, and highway billboards. The canvas is split vertically by a distinct, central line and horizontally by the letters ARILY. Although it is missing the M and th e N, these remaining letters are enough to suggest Monroes first name, Marilyn. Also crossing the horizontal plane are the faint letters of Coca-Cola of the Coca-Cola logo (fig. 20). The painting is composed of five distinct sections; 16 four are found in the left side of the painting. On the left side, the first section is the largest of the four sections on the left side of the painting. The pale flesh tones suggest a skin-colored arm with a curled, manicured hand pressed tightly against a patch of skin. The pose is reminiscent of a photograph of Monroe on the set of her unfinished and last film, Somethings Got to Give (fig. 21) and similar to a picture from her last photo shoot, aptly named the Last Sitting (fig. 22) by the photographer, Bert Stern. The letters AR feature two different color palettes. The top portion found in the first section is painted in a grayish blue and white, fading into the canvas and almost vanishing entirely at some points. Meanwhile, the bottom portion, found in the second 16 To further clarify the description of Marilyn Monroe, I please refer to fig. 19a for each sections corresponding number.
43 section, is predominantly yellow with splashes of the gray blue and white of the superimposed letters of a- and C from the Coca-C. The second section appears to be Monroes eye area, perhaps taken from her publicity still for her 1953 film Niagara Although both eyebrows can be seen, only one eye has been fully executed. It features a black and white palette. The third section is the smallest section, comprised of a small block of the red and the white upper portion of the a-C letters. The fourth section features a fully colored nose and the top left corner of her mouth. The lips are artificially bright red, yet the skin is a natural hue. Viewed together, the third and fourth sections almost portray a lifelike Monroes face. The right half of the painting is continuous in its portrayal of half of Marilyns upside down face, complete with one eye, a partially hidden nose, and a smiling mouth. The face fades from the black and white chin at the top of the painting, juxtaposed against a colored background, to her colored forehead, contrasted with a black and white Y and olive drab colored right bottom corner. The background, as seen behind the chin, is blue and white pinstripes, fading left to right, from a dark blue to white. This color fade is echoed in the ILY letters that occupies the middle of the right side. Like the left side, the letters Coc from the Coca-Cola logo are superimposed over the right side of the painting. The only element of Marilyn Monroe, I without a focus on Monroe is the partial inclusion of the Coca-Cola label; Rosenquist was suggesting that she is as iconic an example of American popular culture as the ubiquitous soft drink17 (Gallery label text: 17 Rosenquist was not the only artist to compar e Monroes iconic status to that of a CocaCola bottle. In Study for Sculpture (Coke and Marilyn) 1962 (fig. 23), Clive Barker also combines Monroe with a Coca-Cola bottle. He used one of the most iconic images of Marilyn from the film Seven Year Itch and put her on a Coke bottle, emphasizing the
44 Marilyn Monroe, I James Rosenquist). Thus Marilyn Monroe, I is more a tribute to an imperfect, fragmented Monroe as the iconic object of American popular culture rather than a poignant, personal remembrance of Monroe Adcock and Rosenquist affirm this interpretation as Marilyn I [ sic ] is among the paintings that cam e closest to embodying the archetypal Pop imagery of popular culture. It shows fragments of the famous movie star, rightside up, up-side-down; her lips, eyes, parts of her face remind the viewer of her famous visage without revealing it. The pain ting is like different sections of a movie poster of a billboard improperly combined. Bit and pieces of her name, some of the letters, almost spell it out. (14) Rosenquists Marilyn Monroe, I reaffirms Monroes iconic status by means of compilation and fragmentation of different Monroe images. Furthermore, Marilyn Monroe, I echoes the public admiration for Monroe as a bigger-than -life iconic object, not the artists own thoughts regarding Monroe, the woman. By employing other images to compose his own somewhat photo-realistic painting, Rosenquist subordina tes his own opinion and feelings about his subject to the mythological icon presented in his work. With Marilyn Monroe, I Rosenquist contributes to Pop artists transformation of Monroe from an American sex symbol to a revered icon. The composition of the painting, an assemblage of pieces of Monroes face, renders a slight collage feel that is accented by the distinct borders around each image. Although these sections of Marilyn Monroe, I do not fit together perfectly, there is enough continuity among them to foster a sense of harmony throughout the canvas. Amplified by the works collage elements, this contrast of discontinuity and fragmentation allows Rosenqui st to impart an important message to the similarity between the marketing of product and person in post-war culture (Bigham and Monem 57).
45 viewer; although imperfect and par tially constructed, the image of Marilyn Monroe is such a well-known icon that even in pieces it remains recognizable. Through his choice of portraying Monroe through the medium of oil and spray enamel as opposed to a photograph, Rosenquist foregoes the harsh truthfulness of an absolutely accurate portrayal for the sensuous tone offered by a tribute painting. This tone is heightened by the muted color palette of the combination of black and white and the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue. This sensuous tone is further enhanced by the curvilinear forms found within each hard-edged block. In this context, Monroes death is viewed not as a tragic suicide, but almost as an easy passing to a glorious realm befitting Monroes status as an icon. However, Rosenquist questions Monroes ab ility to keep her iconic status through his disconcerting use of olive drab in lieu of Monroes signature blonde hair. The viewer, familiar with Monroes trademark platinum blonde curls, would be uncomfortably aware of the unpleasant green stroke that has taken the plac e of a curl. It serves as a reminder that, like the hair, Monroe could fade away, potentially to be replaced in the future, a problem previous popular icons have faced over the passage of time. In conclusion, in the weeks following he r death, Marilyn Monroe became a popular subject among Pop artists. With the proliferati on of images of Monroe in the media, the artists began examining her image and, conse quently, her iconic stat us. Willem de Kooning, Peter Phillips, Andy Warhol, Al lan DArcangelo, and James Rosenquist are examples of artists who took Monroes public image, often di rectly from a print source, and fractured it, noting the viewers ability to recognize Monroe when given only her key characteristics such
46 as her lips, eyes, and hair. Pop artists articulated Monroes rising iconic status at this historical moment.
47 Chapter Two: The Affirmation of Marilyn Monroe as an Icon (1963-1972) "Marilyn was history's most phenome nal love goddess."-Philippe Halsman In 1968, Andy Warhol coined the expression 15 minutes of fame in reference to the fleeting condition of celebrity: In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes (Warhol, Michelson, Buchloh 28). As the media blitzkrieg concerning Marilyn Monroes death began to subside, the memory of Monroe was expected to fade along with it. After the thorough speculation about her suicide (or murder ), the exhausting examination of her last days on Earth, and the astounding revelation of her incredible lone liness and melancholy, how could Marilyn Monroe remain a popular figure in the public eye? As popular culture is in constant evolution, Monroe wa s destined to be outdated sooner rather than later. With her unexpected and premature death, it seemed M onroe had shortened her fifteen minutes of fame by her own hand. However, it appeared Monroe did have one more thing to offer: enduring fame. Instead of fading, Monroes popularity actually proliferated in the years following her death. Her iconic image still pervaded the media and, consequently, popular culture. So popular was she in death, in 1967, Manhattans Sidney Jani s Gallery held a special exhibition entitled Homage to Marilyn Monroe Monroe also continued to be a favorite subject of Pop artists such as Richard Hamilton, Robert Indiana, Claes Oldenburg, George Segal, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann. Although Monroe had alrea dy been established as an icon by the Pop artists in the abundance of works created in reaction to her death, these artists affirmed her
48 status as an idol by continuing to fracture her image throughout the sixties. By placing her within a celestial sphere, Indiana examined her ongoing status as a sexual icon while Hamilton, Oldenburg, Segal, Warhol, and Wesselma nn further illustrated Monroe as an idol within the ideology of the cult of the relic. Richard Hamilton: Marilyn Monroe as a Permanent Creation Richard Hamilton (English, b. 1922), an English painter and printmaker, also contributed images of Marilyn Monroe to the collection of Pop art that emerged after her death. His examination of Monroe drew attention to her iconic qualities, especially her unalterable image. Hamilton participated in the discussions of the Independent Group (1952-1955) and became a critical figure and artist in the deve lopment of the British Pop art movement. He was influenced by Marcel Duchamp and drew inspiration from Duchamps readymades by incorporating media images in his own work, thus creating the assisted or rectified readymade that [would become] his principal means of expression (Maharaj, Hamilton, Richard). Although critics were intent on interpreting deeper motives for using advertisements as subject sources, Hamilton insisted his intentions should not be mistaken as sa tirical; even though the picture might appear to be a sardonic comment on our society I would like to think of my purpose as a search for what is epic in everyday object s and everyday attitudes. Irony has no place in it except in so far as irony is part of the ad mans repertoire. (Livingstone, Pop Art 37) Still, his work was often relayed with a questioning and ironic tone that announces the double-edged mode of parody (Maharaj, Hamilt on, Richard), a characteristic shared by many Pop artists. He is perceived as a positive influence on modern art for his contributions to Pop art in addition to playing an integral role in revolutionizing the screenprint medium as a tool for artistic invention in the 1960s (Wye 174), His cool, detached presentation and
49 his use of mass produced imagery as readymad es established Hamilton as a leader among the British Pop artists. In response to Andy Warhols iconic Marilyn images of 1962, Richard Hamilton began his own series of Marilyn images in 1964 entitled My Marilyn They have been created from images twice removed from their original source; in 1962, a British tabloid released these photographs from one of Monroes last photo shoots after her death. Each work of the My Marilyn series is considered a paste-up, a term used by commercial artists to describe a layout ready for reproduction and printing (Honnef and Grosenick 38). The works are identical in their imagery as they rely on th e same four photographic images replicated three times resulting in twelve frames. Although the wo rk is essentially a collage, there is a harmony within the work due to the repetition of the same four photographs of Monroe. Hamilton explores the massmedia [ sic ] manufacture of her image with an emphasis on cropping and focus (Hamilton and Schwarz 86). According to Livingstone, almost any image enters a Hamilton painting only after something has been done to it, by an earlier process. Yet in an image de veloped from such a source the vivacity, even the mystery of the human presence, is renewed or remade in Hamiltons work. The context from which he derived such an image is acknowledged, even reemphasised [ sic ], but in the same act it is transmuted through his art. (Hamilton, Richard Hamilton 17) By focusing on Monroes image three years after her death, he refers to the "abundance of images of Monroe... [His] Marilyn was late, an obituary. He was staking claim to his version of the myth" (Lot 542: Richard Hamilton (b.1922) my marilyn (l.59)). However, I argue that Hamiltons motives were not to cash in on Monroes fame but, instead, to examine her images persistence and permanence in popular culture. Taken by photographer George Barris at Santa Monica Beach in June of 1962, the images feature Monroe in an orange bikini on the beach (fig. 24-25). There are three blocks
50 of images on the top row as well as three blocks of images on the bottom. Each row contains one block containing all four images and two individual shots. Each image also contains Monroes markings: nine feature the large Xs while the remaining three feature marks of approval. In life, Monroe demanded all photographs fro m her sessions be given to her for her approval before publication. According to Hamilton, [a]fter her death some [of the photographs ] were published with her markingscrosses and ticks, notes for retouching, in structions to the photographer, even the venting of physical aggressions by attacking the emulsion with nail-file or scissors. There is a fortuitous narcissism to be seen for the negating cross is also the childish symbol for a kiss; but the violent obliteration of her own image has a self-destructive implication that made her death all the more poignant. ( Collected Words 65) As Monroe was the master artist of he r own powerful iconicity (Foster 110), Hamilton draws inspiration from Monroes own self-exploitation to affirm her status as a modern idol. Although previous Pop artists had successfully helped to transform Monroe into an idol, Hamiltons My Marilyn series confirms her transformation from a self-exploited object to the celebrated idol. The four images that are repeated throughout the work can be seen in the far left block of images.18 Using this block as a guide and starting with the top left photograph,19 the viewer encounters the first picture depicting a full figure of Monroe standing on the beach, 18 As each work of Hamiltons My Marilyn series are identical in their imagery, I have used the first piece of the series, My Marilyn 1964 (fig. 26), as a reference for the overall description of the photographs in each My Marilyn I intend to discuss three of Hamiltons My Marilyn s and I have found it easier to different iate between the works by referring to their year of creation. Hence My Marilyn 1964, My Marilyn 1965 (fig. 27), and My Marilyn 1966, (fig. 28). 19 To clarify the description of My Marilyn please refer to fig. 26a for each sections corresponding number.
51 the ocean behind her, with her arms spread wide holding a seaweed strand.20 An X in the upper right corner of the frame indicated Monroes disapproval of the photograph and the bottom of the X cuts through Monroes body. In some of Hamiltons reproductions of this image, a large line can be seen in the upper right corner; this is the tail of an arrow Monroe herself had drawn for another photo. The second image features a full figure of Monroe on the shore of the beach, her head down and her arms once again held wide as she holds out the seaweed strand. In this particular photo, some of Hamiltons replications leave the figure of a man behind Monroe. In others he is erased a lmost entirely. The X in this photo has been drawn through Monroes body. The third image is the only photo Monroe approved; once again she is pictured on the shore, cut off at the upper thigh, with one shoulder thrown back, her arm raised as she laughs into the camera while she holds the seaweed strand behind her back. Monroe indicated her approval of this photo by boxing it, drawing a large arrow to it,21 and marking the photo with Good as well as a checkmark. The final photo features Monroe from the upper thigh up, her back to the beach, the seaweed strand again being held behind her. Her face is in profile as her gaze is distracted by something outside of the frame. As in the other unapproved photographs, Monroe has drawn an X through her body, making it especially difficult to see her facial expression. The far left block on the top row contains all four photos of Marilyn. Although all the images in My Marilyn have been altered in some way, t ypically, this particular group of four does not appear too drastically different from the original photographs. However, on closer 20 Although it is unclear in Hamiltons My Marilyn 1964 as to whether the object is a seaweed strand or scarf, it is possible to establish it as a seaweed strand by viewing Barris original photos. 21 As mentioned previously, the tail of this ar row can actually be seen in another one of the photograph stills in the work.
52 inspection, it is easy to discern some additional, subtler differences. The first image has been cropped, Monroes right arm cut by the edge of the work. As a result, only half of Monroes X remains, but Hamilton has chosen to keep a large portion of the beach in the photo. With Marilyns left arm extended, another frame is created, but this portion remains the only part of the work untouched by Hamilton. The sec ond image has also been cropped; again, Monroes right arm has been cut by the edge of the image, and a wide expanse of sky balances the large portion of sand in the photo above. Due to the large, crudely marked X through her body, Monroe is almost unrecognizab le. The third photo is inscribed with the word Good in Monroes handwriting. The fourth photo depicts a large X almost completely obscuring Monroes face. Also, a portion of the box Monroe drew around the third photo has descended into the upper portion of the fourth photo, revealing Monroes enthusiasm for the third Good photo and her re jection of the one be low it. All the images have been cropped in some way. The fifth image shows Monroe leaning ove r, holding her seaweed strand with her back to the ocean while a man walks behind her in the background. The sixth image is of Marilyn on the beach, one arm lifted with he r face in profile. Hamilton has retained Monroes original markings within the phot ograph: the large X over Monroes body and the overhanging corner from the box of the Good photo. The seventh image shows Monroe with he r arms wide spread holding her seaweed strand with her back to the ocean. The tail end of the arrow pointing to the Good photo can be seen in the upper right corner of the picture, a remnant carried over from the original photo. However, it is the large X that is the main focus of the picture.
53 The eighth through eleventh images are found within another block of photographs. The eighth image shows Monroe holding the seaweed strand with her arms outspread. The ninth photo is of Monroe with her head dow n, arms outstretched, and the man in the background. There is also the beginning of anot her frame below it, as insinuated by the block of empty space. The tenth image is the Good photo of Monroe: The eleventh image depicts Monroe with her arm raised and her face in profile-As with the ninth photograph, there is the beginning of another frame below it. The twelfth and final image is the enlarged Good photo, featuring Monroe with her shoulder thrown back and laughing into the camera. As seen in comparison with the other makings on the pictures in the work, this is the only photograph Monroe has approved. Throughout the My Marilyn series, this image typically remains one of the least altered images. Thus, the viewer is able to view M onroe in her most marketable pose: happily laughing, taken from the slightly raised vantage point of the American view, that is, revealing deep insight into the top of her bathing suit (Honnef and Grosenick 38). It serves as a reminder to Monroes unforgettable image. My Marilyn 1964 is the first work of the series. It measures about 19.6 x 24 (50 x 61 cm), a size roughly similar to a poster available for purchase in a museum gift shop.22 It is composed of photos and oil on canvas, impar ting the piece with ready-made and painterly characteristics. The color palette is simple as is a combination of black and white photos with primary color highlights. Marilyn Monroe 1964 was Hamiltons first work to feature Monroe. Throughout the piece, there is a sense of hesitation on how to portray her two years after her death. Hamilton 22 For example, at the Museum of Modern Art, visitors can purchase a matted print of Warhols Gold Marilyn Monroe measuring 14 x 11 or a poster measuring 28.25 x 45.
54 fractures Monroes image through the cropping of some photographs and by presenting black and white images with relatively minor alterations; however, the result is a mixture of Hamiltons acknowledgement of the still-present public image of Monroe as well as his own response to her image. This idea is furthered by the dominance of the four large images of Monroe that remain rather faithful to the original photographs. Although he provides two blocks filled with altered phot ographs, Hamilton presents the viewer with Monroes public image: laughing, beautiful, and carefree. Hamiltons decision to place the only Monroe approved photo in the last position on the canvas insinuates Hamiltons interest in the overall creation of Monroes image and its continuing presence in popular culture. As hi s markings do little other than accentuate Monroes own decisions regarding the photographs, it is evident that Hamilton is hesitant to challenge the publics view of Monroe. Instead, Hamiltons depiction is similar to the images of Monroe that have already been created: a revered woman in life who has achieved, and maintained, an iconic status in death. However, these minor alterations can also be viewed as a successful attempt to bring the idolized image of Monroe into the present day. This idea is accentuated though his decision to repeat the same four images, featuring different yet minor alternations. Thus, Hamilton has effectively extended Monroes iconic status beyond 1962. Through a focus on altering Monroes personal markings, Hamilton comments on Monroe as an idol by exploring the power of her figure and its captivating hold on the public two years after her death. Through this combination of both the icons and the artists markings, Hamilton reveals Monroes continuing status in the eye of the public. My Marilyn 1964 explores the creation of an idol and further validates Monroes transformation into an icon by the Pop artist.
55 Hamilton revisited the subject of Monroe a year later with My Marilyn 1965. Measuring 40 x 48 (102.5 x 122 cm), it allows the la rgest of the Monroe images to appear roughly half life sized while the smallest are about a quarter of life sized. It is composed of oil and collage on photograph on panel, provi ding the work with both ready-made and painterly qualities. The color pale tte is varied yet muted: black, white, gray, peach, yellow, amaranth pink, orchid, green, red, and brown. With My Marilyn 1965, he marvels at her images influence even three years after her death and becomes a transformer, allowi ng Monroe to metamorphose from an image to an icon. Hamilton further comments on Monroe as an idol by exploring the power her figure has even when disfigured. The Xs by Monroe illustrate her own hand in her manufactured image, insuring the right or the same image of Monroe is seen and replicated for the public. Hamiltons decisions to paint over Monroes figure, lighten the picture, or change the background colors illustrate the artists hand in servitude to Monroe as her marks and her figure still remain the dominant features of each photograph. Furthermore, it once again illustrates Hamiltons observation that even with an obscured face, Monroe is still recognizable. My Marilyn 1965 specifically challenged the Fine Art conventions against which Pop struggled. According to Hamilton and Schwarz, it touched on terms of both painting and photography, Fine Art and mass media representa tions. It pushes certain notions central to ideologies of art originality, sincerity, authorship to their limits turning them inside out (87). Through an examination of both the imagery of My Marilyn 1965, and Hamiltons fascination with the manufactured qualities of the imagery as his primary inspiration for the
56 production of the work, My Marilyn 1965 further validates Monroes transformation into an icon by the Pop artist. Once again, Hamilton revisited the same imagery in his 1966 rendition of My Marilyn Like My Marilyn 1964, Hamilton has presented the 1966 My Marilyn on a smaller scale. Measuring about 20.39 x 24.88 (518 x 632 mm) a nd composed of paper and print, Hamilton has taken advantage of the re productive qualities of a paste-up. Depicting the same images of the previous My Marilyns My Marilyn 1966 is radically different in that Hamilton has completely altered every image. Other than depi cting the various poses of Monroe, they have no resemblance to the original photos. It appears Hamilton has given the negative of the image as evidenced by its unusual color palette: some of the black and white photograph remains through the beige, light thulian pink, gray, and orange. As a result, in many of the images, the figure of Monroe is barely discernible. The work appears more collage like than the prior My Marilyns due to the exaggerated contrast between the vivid color palette and the black borders of the image. Also, there is a border around three sides of My Marilyn 1966 not seen in the others; it ranges from beige with white spots on the left border, beige with a thulian pink stripe in the bottom right corner, and a solid beige from the bottom through the right side. By choosing this negative palette, Hamilton appears to reference the original source of the photographs: the reel of photographic film. By referencing negatives, is it possible Hamilton has attempted to reach the original sour ce of Monroes image: Monroe herself? By using images of a woman who has been dead for four years, the only current bridge to Monroe would be the film that would contain one of her last photo shoots. Furthermore, by choosing to present these particular images, Hamilton has used photographs taken to promote
57 Monroes image. Hamilton once again explores M onroes image as it was in life and its transformation in the past four years; he affirm s Monroes position as an idol in the wake of her death and the present day continuation of her iconic status. Throughout the work, Hamilton has cleverly dire cted the viewers eye to the twelfth and final image through his alte rations of Monroes markings. When divided by thirds vertically, the third, tenth, and sixth images spread the remnants of Monroes box throughout the canvas, highlighting the Good photo that remains unmarked. Furthermore, there is a gradual descent of the Good image from the top of the work in the first third, its middle position in the second third, and the lowest position in the bottom right corner in the final third. Interspersed between the images of Hamiltons altered Monroe, the Good photo remains a constant reminder to the viewer that although Monroe is no longer as prominent as she was in life, she continues to be a recognizable icon. My Marilyn 1966 features the images of Monroe most altered by Hamilton. He is no longer the tentative artist who began questioning Monroes image with his My Marilyn 1964. Instead, he presents a work that appears to be drastic change from the previous My Marilyns However, Hamilton is able to use these dramatic alterations to call attention to his inability to alter her image in any way. Instead, My Marilyn 1966 recognizes and aids in the continuation of Monroes iconic status after her death. By presenting different variations on the same fractured images of Monroe in My Marilyn Hamilton has effectively portrayed Monroe s continuation as an idol through the years following her death. In My Marilyn 1964, Hamilton acknowledges of the still present public image of Monroe as well as his own response. My Marilyn 1965 allows Hamilton to explore the little effect his own renderings have on Monroes iconic qualities. Hamiltons
58 decision to completely alter My Marilyn 1966 from its original source calls attention to Monroes unalterable image in the years after her death. Thus, through his My Marilyn series, Hamilton further validates both Monroes transfor mation into an icon and the continuation of her iconography by the Pop artist. Robert Indiana: Marilyn Monroe as a Sex Icon Like other Pop artists, Robert Indiana (American, b. 1928) 23 was inspired by what was around him. However, instead of merely presenting images that were common in society, Indiana took known indicators to comment on the direction of American society. By presenting recognizable imagery within the rigidl y designed format of his sign-like works, he highlights Monroes transformation from a sex object to a venerated idol. Indiana found inspiration in traffic signs, automatic amusement machines, commercial stencils, and old trade names. I ndianas preoccupation with signage deviates from the norm of Pop. As Livingstone points out, The immaculate a nd rigorously designed surface of Indianas paintings of the early 1960s did not serve as a backdrop for found images, as in the work of other Pop artists, but as a clean slate on which to examine in an almost mystical way the beauty and enigmas of written language ( Pop Art 83). Indiana considers himself a sign painter. His art a ttains a stark simplicity that suggests the flashing words of neon signs. These word-paintings are composed of stenciled letters and precise, hard-edge color shapes that relate Indiana to much abstract art of the sixties (Arnason and Kalb 502). Like DArcangelo, Indi anas work is imbued with social concern 23 Robert Indiana was originally named Robert Clark. According to Livingstone, Indiana decided early in life that his mission was an artist was to represent American experience, and thus he changed his surname to that of his native state ( Pop Art 83).
59 and political criticism. He employs the directness of a sign format to address his preoccupation with national and cultural identity. In 1967, Indiana examined the transformation of Monroe into an exalted figure in The Metamorphosis of Norma Jean Mortenson (fig. 29). Measuring almost nine feet on each side, it is a powerful work featuring three encompassed circles within a square canvas. The outer ring and inner ring are filled with letters and numbers while the center features a woman against a gold star and red background: Norma Jean Mortenson or, as the public came to know her, Marilyn Monroe. The sign content frames Marilyn Monroe/Norma Jean. The background, brown outside the circle, appears to have taken on a gr ay or silver sheen inside the rings. The outer ring is outlined in red, the inner ring in orange, and the center in yellow. The letters in the outer ring replicate the arrangement of the entire composition: the letters are colored with a light brown background and encircled by a matc hing light brown outline. The letters are interconnected through thin bars. The bars evenly quarter the circles as well as establish a connection between the circles and the outlines of both the outer and inner ring. The outer ring is split in half by the number 2 on the left and the number 6 on the right. The circles of the upper half, beginning at the num ber 2 and reading clockwise, spell NORMAJEAN before ending at the 6. The circles of the lower half, beginning at the 2 and reading counterclockwise, spell MORTENSON. The 2 and 6 indicate Monroes birth year, 1926, while Norma Jean Mortenson refers to her birth name.24, 25 24 Monroe, born to Gladys Baker, was origin ally named Norma Jeane Baker. However, her birth certificate reads Norma Jeane Mortenson and Edward Mortensen is named as her father. In 1924, Gladys married a Martin Edward Mortensen, from whom she separated after several months; he was, apparently, not even in California when Gladys became pregnant in 1925 (Churchwell 140).
60 The inner ring, associated with Norma Jeans birth, shares many similarities with the outer ring, associated with Marilyn Monroes death. It is filled with encircled letters; however, these letters differ by featuring be ige letters and colored backgrounds. The letters are connected through their convergence. The inner ring is also split in half by its own numbers: 6 and 2. The circles of the upper ha lf, beginning at 6 and reading clockwise, spell MARILYN before ending at the 2. The circles of the lower half, beginning at 6 and reading counterclockwise, spell MONROE before ending at the 2. The 6 and 2 indicate the year of Monroes death, 1962, and Marilyn Monroe references her stage name. In the center of the circle, Indiana depicts the upper torso of Monroe in a provocative pose. This image of Monroe has been based on a nude photograph of Monroe. Her raised left arm partially obscures her face while her head tilts back. Her face is the image of seduction: her visible eye is half closed while her red lip s parted to reveal white teeth. Meanwhile, her back is arched, causing her breasts to thrust forward. Her hair is not as realistically depicted as her skin: the yellow is swirled with unna tural ochre lowlights, possibly to indicate Monroes famous curls. Behind Monroe, a gold star is set against a red background. The points of the star reach the outer edge of the yellow outline of the circle, effectively drawing the viewers eye by seeming to push Monroe out of the canvas. The letters of the outer and inner rings are connected through their coloring. The letters found in both name s have been colored similarly: the Ms are violet, the As are red, the Rs are green, the Os are orange, the Es are yellow, and the Ns are a royal blue. The letters unique to either Norma Jean Mortenson or Marilyn Monroe, the J, 25 Fred Lawrence Guiless 1984 revision of Norma Jean indicates Norma Jeane was Monroes preferred spelling, Norma Jeane has been used rather than the more common rendering of her given name, Norma Jean, principally because that was the way Marilyn herself consistently wrote it (x).
61 T, S, I, L, and Y are sky blue. The 2 and 6 of the outer ring share a brown background and beige number. The 6 and 2 share a common palette with Monroes nude body; they have a pale skin tone background with a peach number. The numerical symmetry with the numbers 2, 3, and 6 stems from Indians own intrigue with the repetition of these numbers within Monroes life: An irony indeed that her role in Misfits was not only her final appearance on the screen, but the vehicle of farewell for he r costars Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift as well. The last film for all three. Six divided by two. 26 the year of her birth; 62 the year of her death. At two baby Norma Jean was almost suffocated by a hysterical neighbor; at six a member of one of her 12 (6 x 12) foster families tried to rape her. In 52 (26+26) when she was 26, her most cher ished ambition of all was realized when she starred in a dramatic role and, in the first week at the Manhattan box office, the film grossed $26,000. Death came by her hand on the sixth day of August, the eighth month (6+2 for the last time). This odd run of numerical coincidences only buttressed my fascination with the subject once I had become intrigued by the metamorphosis of her name itself. From the letters of her original name someone drew almost anagrammatically those of her fame. Three were added; three were subtracted. Six again. In gray. Encircled by the telephone dial-like ring of her destiny and death (it was this instrument she was clutching) Marilyn is posed in the cosmetic colors of her muchvaunted femininity against the golden star of her dreams though its tips, however, point to the letters I MOON. Her stylized image comes, of course, from the famous nude calendar Golden Dreams, which upon finding by chance in a Greenwich Village shop called The Tunnel of Love, I turned over and discovered that our last Goddess of Love had been printed in Indiana. (Ryan and Indiana 247) There are twenty-one letters and numbers in the outer circle and fifteen in the inner, together totaling thirty-six. A number divided by 2, 3, and 6 as well as Monroes age at her death, indicating Indianas interest in the numerology of Monroes life and its relationship to her transformation. In The Metamorphosis of Norma Jean Mortenson Indiana comments on Monroes transformation into a sex goddess as well as her status as an idol. This interest is revealed in
62 the combination of her birth and stage names and the figure of Monroe. In August of 1946, Norma Jean signed a six-month contract with Twentieth-Century Fox. According to Doll, The first order of business was to cha nge the young actresss name . [Marilyns associate, Ben] Lyon thought Marilyn would suit Norma Jeanes [ sic ] new, glamourous [ sic ] identity as a Hollywood starlet. For her part, Norma Jeane [ sic ] suggested her mothers family name, Monro e as a last name . So it was in the course of one afternoon, Norma Jeane [ sic ] Mortenson Baker Dougherty26 was transformed into Marilyn Monroe. (48) At the end of six months, her contract failed to be renewed. After several years of little success, desperate for money, Monroe agreed to pose nude for photographer Tom Kelley in 1949. The shoot resulted in two calendar poses: Golden Dreams (fig. 30) and A New Wrinkle (fig. 31). However, the photographs did not surface until 1952. Under a new contract with Twentieth-Century Fox, the nude photographs were a threat to Monroes fledgling success, and the executives were fr antic over the discovery and urged Marilyn to deny everything (Doll 93). Instead, Monroe deci ded to reveal the truth, I was broke and needed the money (Doll 93). She also saw no shame in what she had done: Oh, the calendars hanging in garages all over town . Besides, Im not ashamed of it. Ive done nothing wrong. I was told I should deny Id pose d but Id rather be honest about it (Hall and Hall 489). Her candor regarding the incide nt won over both the press and public, and the resulting publicity propelled Monroe into stardom. Both the event and image became part of the Monroe legend. Indiana depicted a well-known image of Monroe. The image itself has an unusual duality as it presents both Norma Jean and Marilyn Monroe. Penniless, in between movie 26 In 1942, at the age of sixteen, Norma Jean married Jim Dougherty. The couple divorced in 1946.
63 contracts, and still searching for success, Norma Jean had to fall back on her modeling experience to survive. On the other hand, Marilyn had managed to negotiate a movie contract, appear in several films, and begin creating her new persona. The viewer sees both Norma Jean and Marilyn Monroe within this image. Furthermore, in the context of the Calendar Scandal, this image of Monroe is truly a transitional one. Indiana has presented visual evidence of the metamorphosis of No rma Jean Mortenson into Marilyn Monroe. Due to his use of the Golden Dreams image, Indiana also establishes a common thread between Norma Jean and Marilyn Monroe: their sexual allure. Throughout the composition of the work, Indiana alludes to this sexual allure by repeatedly referencing the only visible portion of Monroes sexual anatom y: her breasts. Monroes hourglass shape was a significant factor in her sexual appeal and he r bust/waist/hip measurements of 38-23-36 are still heralded, by some, as ideal measurements for women. The outer circle constructs the shape of the perfect breast, the inner circle defines the areola, and Monroe becomes the erect nipple. This attention to her breasts is furthered by the position and coloring of the numbers, 6 and 2, in the inner circle and the Os found in both the inner and outer circles. Not only are the 6 and 2 flesh colored, but they also have been placed within the same horizontal plane of her breasts. In the bottom half of the inner and outer rings, the Os create a pyramid with Monroes left nipple at the top. The double Os of each ring reinforce Monroes breas ts and, consequently, her sexual appeal. At first, the O found in the upper portion of the outer ring appears out of place. However, the diagonal of the star, cutting behind Monroes torso, creates a connection between Monroes breasts and the O. Furthermore, the between the A and J is situated directly above the nipple of Monroes left breast. By referencing her breasts, Indiana establishes Norma
64 Jeans sexual appeal as the catalyst to her metamorphosis into Marilyn Monroe and then Monroes transformation into a sex icon, thereby reinforcing the central duality. The public was drawn to Monroes contradictory image. According to Doll, Audiences of the 1950s were fascinated by Marilyns unique mix of provocative sexuality and fresh-faced innocence (94). Indiana presents this contradiction through his color palette, especially in the gold and red of the background behind Monroe. In a 1953 interview, Monroe stated that her favorite color was gold; she also liked red, white, and blue (Kidder 90). With this trivial information, Indiana re ferences Monroes innocence. The combination of the red and gold with the nude Monroe also calls attention to the sexuality of the image. With Monroe rising out of the center, she can be seen as an exaggeration of an erect nipple against golden skin. Indiana cleverly combin es Monroes notorious innocence and sexual appeal. The composition of The Metamorphosis of Norma Jean Mortenson reminds the viewer of both a sign and a game. As a sign, it calls attention to the gamble Norma Jean took becoming Marilyn Monroe in her quest for stardom. Her quest is successful for she is featured in the center of the work, set against a star. As a game, Monroe appears as if encircled by a bulls eye. This is not the first time this image of Monroe has been featured in the center; in December 1953, the first issue of Playboy was released with Monroe on the cover (fig. 32) and the Golden Dreams photograph as the centerfold. By using the bulls eye, Indiana fragments Monroe, reducing her to a single characteristic, her sexuality, and forces the viewer to focus on the one dominating characteristic of Monroe: her status as a sex icon. By creating a work five years after her death an d using an image that is both risqu and ten-
65 year-old, Indiana also refers to Monroes conti nuing status as an icon. With the use of bold imagery and a vibrant color palette, Indiana st resses the current power of Monroes image. Although still referred to as the ultimate sex goddess, Monroe ascended to a position as icon in the years following her death. Thr ough her centralized position, Indiana indicates this ascension. Encircled by red and set against a golden star, similar to Warhols Gold Marilyn Monroe she is cast in a celestial sphere. Her nudity is used more as a tool for the sake of recognition as well as a reference to her tragic death: when she was found dead by her housekeeper in 1962, Monroe was naked. The viewer sees both Marilyn Monroe, the powerful woman thought to have it all, and No rma Jean, the vulnerable girl still searching for acceptance. In The Transformation of Norma Jean Mortenson Indiana presents the duality of Monroes image. By referencing both her sexua lity and innocence, he effectively presents Monroe as both the sex goddess she was celebrated as in life as well as the icon she has become. Furthermore, the work allows Monroe to be both confined and liberated from the sex object label her name is synonymous with; sh e became a star due to her status as a sex goddess, but the continuing power of her image, fi ve years after her death, has allowed her to ascend to that of a beloved icon. Claes Oldenburg: A Relic of Marilyn Monroe Claes Oldenburg (Swedish/American, b. 1929) contributed to the cult of Marilyn by creating an object that was an essential implement in the formation of Monroes image. By creating a relic, he further exalted Monroes iconic status. After moving to New York in 1956, Oldenburg became a prominent figure in Happenings, but he has become world renowne d for his sculptures. In creating these
66 sculptures, he has established a brilliant body of work based on lowly common objects ranging from foodstuffs to clothespins and matchsticks [which] transforms the commonplace into something extraordinary (Arnason and Kalb 492). Oldenburg challenges conventional artistic practices through his use of common objects as sources for material and his willingness to make art from the most co mmon materials (Arnason and Kalb 492). His work differs from other Pop artists due to his lack of mechanical feel because of his choice to replicate and expand the size of common object s. Consequently, Oldenburgs creations lack the cool, detached tone found in other hard Pop works. His choice to present his subjects often as dilapidated sculptures with loose structure imparts a humorous tone to his pieces. Nevertheless, Oldenburg is a ma jor contributor to the Pop movements predilection for the common object. Oldenburg created the sculpture Lipstick with Stroke Attached (for M.M.) 1967-1971 (fig. 33) for the 1967 special exhibition, Homage to Marilyn Monroe at the Sidney Janis Gallery. Measuring six feet tall, it features a gold tube of opened lipstick with its lid discarded to the side. By attaching a floor le vel stroke to the standing figure, Oldenburg has depicted the work in the process of applyi ng red lipstick. Oldenburg references two of Monroes characteristic features; the shadow of the tube creates the upper lip and the stroke constitutes the lower lip of Monroes famous mouth while the cap of the lipstick could be viewed as Monroes mole or beauty mark. Unlike Warhol, DArcangelo, and Wesselmann, Oldenburg differed from the other Pop artists who displayed relics of Monroe in their works in that he presents neither a recognizable portrait of Marilyn nor even an excerpted feature (Mamiya 100). Instead, Oldenburg contributes to Monroes iconic stat us by putting forth an object of extreme
67 importance to Monroe: a tube of lipstick. Oldenbur g has put the lipstick in use, most likely to remind the viewer of Monroes own hand in th e creation of her image. As a result, he has taken the idea of the relic one step further by presenting a personal item to represent Monroe. Although other artists have given Monroes lips, eyes, and other characteristics to the cult of Marilyn, Oldenburg is the first artist to offer the tool that was instrumental in her creation. By creating a relic, Oldenburg further affirms Monroes status as an icon even in death. George Segal: The Veneration of Marilyn Monroe Like Warhol, George Segal (American, 19242000) affirms Marilyn Monroe as an idol by placing her within a celestial sphere. He further accentuates her iconic status with the inclusion of a human figure viewing the image of Monroe, thus depicting the active worship of Monroe. Known for his white plaster sculptures of human figures, George Segal nonetheless has been classified as a Pop artist by numerous critics. Segal began as a painter of expressive, figurative canvases, but feeling hampered by the spatial limitations of painting, he began to make sculpture in 1958 (Arnason and Kalb 491). Like other Pop artists, Segal has a distinctive style, but this style also separated his work from Pop Art [ sic ] by staying closely related to personal experience and hum an values (BiographyGeorge Segal (19242000)). Furthermore, he once said that because he was from the proletariat, he wanted to deal directly with the places around and familiar to himself, rather than with elegant topics (BiographyGeorge Segal (1924-2000)). Cons equently, his work incorporates common imagery: the human figure accompanied by found objects such as movie posters, chairs, and street signs.
68 Although his plaster casts of human figures differ greatly from the flat, mechanical feel of other Pop artists, his work does contain a characteristic Pop element: a cool, distant tone. Segals wraith-like figures were made from real-life models,27 but there is also a sense of distance and melancholy imparted by thei r rough texture and placement in anonymous settings, such as street corners or diners. Besides the desensitized, less emotional characterizations, Segals work seems to avoid enlightened or spiritual themes through his choice of real figures in a humdrum situa tion doing ordinary things commonly found in everyday life. Thus, it could be said that Segals contribution to Pop art was his addition of the ordinary, faceless consumer as one more object to the sum of the Pop art equation. Segal created The Movie Poster 1967 (fig. 34), an environmental sculpture, for the exhibition, Homage to Marilyn Monroe at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York City. It features one of Segals characteristic wraith-like men in front of a large photograph of Marilyn Monroe. The work is over six-feet tall; the man is life-sized while the image of Monroe is slightly larger than life. The man, a plaster cast of a real-life model, is white plaster while the photograph has been mounted on wood. Segal has used a black and white promotional image of Monroe from her 1959, Some Like It Hot (fig. 35). Although not strictly a movie poster, the image was used to promote the film. The color palette is simple: black and white. Segal has placed the male figure directly in front of Monroe. He stands with his feet spread apart, his shoulder slightly hunched, a nd leaning slightly forward. He is thoroughly engaged and captivated by the image of Monroe. As a result, Segal conveys the man as no 27 His casting technique, in which the live m odel is wrapped in strips of plaster-soaked cheesecloth, imparts a rough texture and a minimum of surface detail to the figures, thus heightening the sense of anonymity a nd isolation (Ge orge Segal).
69 ordinary viewer: he is a fan. Furthermore, as the man has no clear identifying features, he embodies the public and becomes Eve ryman. In her interview with Life reporter Richard Meryman, Monroe stated, I want to stay just in the fantasy of Everyman (Summers 367). By placing the figure in close proximity to th e image of Monroe, Segal demonstrates her endurance in the fantasy of Everyman as Monroe completely fills the mans vision and demonstrates, five years after her death, she still remains within the fantasy of Everyman. By featuring an ardent fan, The Movie Poster demonstrates the fervor the public still has for Monroe as well as her dominance in popular culture. Some Like it Hot was a box office success and interna tionally acclaimed as one of the greatest comedies ever made. It is often considered Monroes best film, and her critically acclaimed role as Sugar Kane earned her the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress-Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Consequently, by ch oosing an image of Monroe as Sugar, Segal presents Monroe in an exalted state. As in Warhols work, the edges of Monroes image within the overall work cast her in a celestial sphere, thus emphasizing her iconic status. Her status as an idol is furthered by Segals use of medium: Early Christian icons continued the Roman tradition of painting on wooden panels (Gardner and Kleiner 326). Furthermore, The Movie Poster beatifies her image through its ability to consume the viewers vision due to her larger-than-life representation. In additio n, Segal presents the figure in the act of examining the image. Due to the mans status as a fan, the figure is, in fact, shown in the midst of venerating Monroe. The placement of the work within the Homage to Marilyn exhibition provides additional evidence to the figures worship of Monroe. Also, the exhibition serves as a shrine to Monroe, thus establishing the viewer of The Movie Poster as a pilgrim on a Marilyn Monroe pilgrimage. The Movie Poster continues the creation of
70 Monroe as an idol due to Segals reference to Early Christian iconography as well as the religious act of pilgrimage. Segal establishes Monroe as an idol in The Movie Poster by placing an exalted image of Monroe within a celestial sphere. He further canonizes Monroe through the inclusion of the male figure but it is his dual role as fa n and worshiper that demonstrates Monroes continuing iconic status within popular culture. Still, Segals The Movie Poster ultimately beatifies Monroe due to its inclusion within the exhibition Homage to Marilyn as it establishes the viewer as a pilgrim. Andy Warhol: Marilyn Monroe as the Goddess of Pop Art In 1965, Warhol publicly announced his retirement from painting to pursue a career in commercial film. However, he continued making art throughout his retirement and, in 1967, surprised the art world with Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) According to Bourdon, Almost immediately, these thirty-six-inch-square portraits of the movie queen became classic icons of the 1960s (Bourdon 262). Warhol created this portfolio of screenprints featuring Marilyn Monroe for the 1967 tribute show, Homage to Marilyn Monroe held at the Sidney Janis Gallery in New York. Monr oe remains recognizable through Warhols unrealistic coloring and, as a result, he advocates Monroe as the goddess of Pop art. Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) (fig. 36) and Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) (fig. 37), or Ten Marilyns ,28 both depict the Warhol cropped version of the Niagara publicity shot as seen in Marilyn Diptych and Gold Marilyn Monroe The prints share a similar color palette although they differ in size; Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) is only six by six inches because it was 28 As Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) and Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) feature both identical titles and imagery, for the sake of clarity, I have chosen to refer to the latter as Ten Marilyns as it concerns the Marilyn portfolio containing ten screenprints of Monroe.
71 published to announce the publication of the portfolio while each of the Ten Marilyns are thirty-six inch squares. Warhol depicts this set of Marilyns in a garish palette. According to Bourdon, Warhols Marilyn silkscreens are even more vivid and lurid than his earlier portraits of her on canvas. He chose lush, nonnaturalistic colors, with the blazing hues juxtaposed in startling combinations, a more florid extension of his fauve Campbells Soup cans and selfportraits (Bourdon 262). Bourdons description of Warhols coloring as fauve is interesting to note as Fauvism29 was the first avant-garde art movement of the twentiethcentury. The French movement emphasized personal authenticity; consequently, it was more of an association rather than a defined school The Fauves were particularly noted for their use of vibrant color. According to Arnason and Kalb, The Fauves reclaimed Impressionisms direct, joyous embrace of nature and combined it with Post-Impressionisms hei ghtened color contrasts and emotional, expressive depth. They emancipated color from its role of describing external reality and concentrated on the mediums ability to communicate directly the artists experience of that reality by exploiting the pure chromatic intensity of paint. Fauvism burst on to the Parisian art scene at a time when the heady pace of change in the arts, as in society as a whole, was coming to be seen as part of the new, modern world order. (108) Many similarities between Fauvism and Pop can be established: the lack of cohesion between the artists, the emphasis on the individual, the us e of vibrant color, and the development of a new art for the new, modern world. Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) was published to announce the Ten Marilyns Its color palette can be seen as a precursor for the en tire portfolio; it depicts a neon yellow Marilyn 29 The name of the movement was derived from art critic Louis Vauxcelles. Surrounded by the brightly colored canvases upon entering the gallery at Pariss 1905 Salon dAutomne he declared, Donatello au milieu des fauves! ( Donatello among the wild beasts!) (Arnason and Kalb 108).
72 with violet lips, maroon eyebrows and shadows, and lime green hair, teeth, collar and eyes, and hot pink eyelids that match the hot pink background. Unlike other Warhol works, Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) lacks the visual evidence of the silkscreen process. Warhol has colored Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) methodically which is replicated in the Ten Marilyns Each grouping feature the same coloring: the background, eyelids, and mole; the outline of the lips and the collar; the highlights of the hair and the eyes; the outlines of features (eyebrows, lips, nose, mole, etc.), the shading of the face, and the shading of the hair. Nine of the Ten Marilyns (fig. 37a-h, j) are brightly colored while one Marilyn (fig. 37i)30 has an extremely macabre palette: black b ackground and shading, dark blue hair, and gray skin. Monroe emerges from the dar kness, appearing ghastly and skeletal. It is impossible to establish a common trait among the Marilyns other than the subject. They differ from one another in term s of their reproduction; several have been reproduced flawlessly while others bear the traces of their poor quality of reproduction.31 They also vary greatly in regard to their color palette; three of the Marilyns have somewhat realistic skin tones while the others seven faces vary in their coloring from hot pink to blue. However, through the stylistic differences, the viewer is still able to identify Monroe. Due to 30 The most somber, indeed morbid of the portraits is in shades of black and gray, and it is certainly among the most powerful prints he ever made. An austere and funeral image, it almost ghoulishly evokes the extravagant glam our and tragedy of Monroes life (Bourdon 262). 31 The smudging of the image occurred often in Warhols work. According to Bourdon, Nathan Gluck [a free-lance artist who often collaborated with Warhol] reminded Andy to mark the corners of each repeated image so that he could line up the screens and get Monroes features in the exact place. But Andy liked to work quickly and couldnt be bothered with such niceties. S o, when he got through, Gluck said. the lips were a little askew, the eye shadow went a little high, or the hair went a little over to the left. Gluck would find himself l ooking ruefully at the picture and saying, Andy, its a little off-register. The artist invariably responded, I like it that way. (125)
73 this immediate recognition, Warhol demonstrates the longevity of Monroes image in popular culture as well as continues to exalt Monroe as an icon. By depicting Monroes face in colorful hues, Warhol associates her with the varicolored Hindu idols. Many of the Hindu gods, such as Vishnu (fig. 38), are depicted with unrealistic skin tones, often as a way of symbolizing their spiritual power and deity status. Furthermore, by having such an unnatural skin color, these deities are immediately recognizable as Hindu icons when depicted in th e company of mortals, as demonstrated by Vishnu & Lakshmi on The Serpent of Eternity (fig. 39). By publishing the Ten Marilyns portfolio in a limited print of 250, Warhol has provided the opportunity for anyone to find themselves in the presence of one of his Marilyns, be it in someones home or in a museum. Amidst these mortals, the Ten Marilyns depict an undeniable icon. The creation of Ten Marilyns confirms the endurance of Monroes appeal five years after her death. By depicting Monroe in an unrealistic manner, he has once again demonstrated the interchangeability of Monroe. No matter how much Monroes image is altered, she still remains as recognizable and ic onic now as she was at the time of her death. Furthermore, by depicting Monroes face in a Fauve manner, Warhol also champions her status as the goddess of Pop art, the American icon of a new art form for the new, modern United States. With the use of a color palette reminiscent of both Hindu deities and Fauvism, Warhol contributes in Monroes continua nce as a powerful icon even in death. Tom Wesselmann: A Relic of Marilyn Monroe Five years after her death, Tom Wesse lmann (American, 1931-2004) applied the cult of the relic to Marilyn Monroe in his work. By projecting the whole of Monroe through an individual body part, Wesselmann asserts Monroes iconic status.
74 Due to his use of found objects within his works, Wesselmann is considered one of the founders of the Pop art movement. Initially inspired by the work of Willem de Kooning, he attempted to find a new di rection centered around a tangible subject (Glenn), which then led to experimenting with small abstract collages in addition to painting objects and landscapes. Wesselmann is most known for his Great American Nude series: over one hundred mixed-media compositions feature a reclining female nude in various environments, complete with fragments of ready-made items, ranging from photographs to radiators in order to define the environment clearly. A ccording to Livingstone, Wesselmann maintained that he used such fragments of ready-made material as a purely practical solution, as he felt unable to paint them with the precision he required ( Pop Art 91). The work of Wesselmann often references masterpieces, thus allowing a link between Pop and earlier artistic movements. As a result, he suggests that although Pop art may employ popular imagery, its roots and inspiration can be traced to artists and works of previous movements. Wesselmann, therefore, is a crucial artist to the validation of Pop as an art movement for his deference to precedent art movements traceable back to the Renaissance. In Mouth #14 (Marilyn ), 1967 (fig. 40), Wesselmann depicts a pair of heavily madeup lips measuring five feet tall and nine feet wide The rich red glistens in the light as the lips part to reveal a pink tongue nestled behind tw o rows of perfect white teeth. Meanwhile, three tendrils of blond hair cascade over the right corner of the lips. As a result, the lips are blatantly sexual; moist and slightly open, they seem to be begging a kiss from the viewer. At first, it appears that Wesselmann has only used the lips to highlight Monroes eternal image as a sex goddess. However, by referencing other features of her body, such as her teeth and hair, he uses these characteristics as one would use a relic: to convey the power of the
75 figure through the individual part. Also, Wesselmann has depicted Monroes features as they appeared in life, thereby establishing the conti nuing reverence of Monroe as an idol. Not only does Wesselmann present a series of relics in Mouth #14, but he also helps to preserve her youthful image. Thus, by presenting Monroes you thful image five years after her death, Wesselmann affirms Monroes status as an icon. Monroes popularity continued to rise th roughout the sixties; consequently, she remained a recognizable figure in popular culture. She also continued to be a common subject in Pop art. In the years following Monroes death, Pop artists Richard Hamilton, Robert Indiana, Claes Oldenburg, Geor ge Segal, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselmann continued to fracture the still-popular image of Monroe and place her within a celestial sphere. By using his distinct style, each artist further examined her within the ideology of the cult of the relic. These Pop artists affirmed Monroes iconic status both within the movement as well as in popular culture.
76 Chapter Three: The Continuation of Marilyn Monroe as an Icon, 1973-Present She was probably the last of the big stars. Wh ether or not she knew that is debatablebut then we ourselves didnt realize it at the ti me. Ten years ago... long enough for a cult to fade, a myth to evolve. Time to realize how tim eless she really is. Daily Girl, June 1972 In an article on Marilyn Monroe, The Woman Who Will Not Die, Gloria Steinem applied English critic Cyril Connollys definiti on of posterity to Monroes unique longevity. According to Steinem, In the 1930s, when Connolly proposed a definition of posterity to measure whether a writers work had stood the test of time, he suggested that posterity should be limited to ten years. The form and content of popular culture was changing too fast, he explained, to make any artist account able for more than a decade. (65-66) However, forty years after Connolly proposed his definition, Monroe defied it, even though the pace of change has been accelerated even more (Steinem 66). As Steinem observed, twenty-five years after her death Monroe remain ed a fixed part of American consciousness and pop culture. Somehow, she avoided the inevitable descent into obscurity and, instead, become one of Americas most enduring icons As a result, Monroe continued to be a current, popular image among the public. Her image appeared in variety of venues, from the face of Marilyn Merlot wine labels to the cult figure in The Whos Tommy She also remained a dominant subject in the canvases of Pop artists. Artists including James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooni ng, Peter Blake, and Robert Indiana continued to depict her iconic status in their works. Rosenquist, Warhol, de Kooning and Indiana revisited Monroe as a subject, further contributing to the perseverance of Monroes
77 iconic status through fracturing and replicating her image. Blake also observed her status as an American idol by framing Monroe within a religious context. These Pop artists illustrated the veneration of Monroe was just as strong, if not stronger, in death than it was while she was alive. James Rosenquist: Marilyn Monroe Still Fragmented, Still Recognizable In 1974, Rosenquist revisited the images and subject he examined in his 1962 Marilyn Monroe, I in creating Marilyn (fig. 41). In Marilyn Monroe, I he questioned Monroes perseverance as an idol beyond the grav e. By depicting an almost identical image, Rosenquist acknowledges Monroes continuing iconi c status, thus answering the question he raised twelve years prior. Marilyn Monroe, I the images of Marilyn still remain slightly larger than life. Marilyn is a lithograph, in contrast to the oil and spray enamel on canvas medium found in Marilyn Monroe, I Marilyn is almost an exact replica of Marilyn Monroe, I in its composition and subject matter. The collage-like painting is composed of four different images of Monroes face. It is split vertically by a distinct, central line as well as horizontally by the letters ARILY, referring to her first name, and once again, the cursive letters of Coca-C of the distinctive Coca-Cola script. However, the Marilyn Coca-Cola differs from that of Marilyn Monroe, I in its more distinctive, easier-to-read label, such as the distinctive tail of the first C. This larger piece of the Coca-Cola label also results in more overlap between the ARILY letters and the Coca-C.
78 The right half of the painting32 is a continuous portrayal of half of Marilyns upside down face complete with one eye, a partially hidden nose, and a smiling mouth. The face fades from black and white chin at the top of the painting, juxtaposed against the dark lavender and white pinstriped background, to he r colored forehead, contrasted with a black and white Y and a gray patch in the right bottom corner. The smiling mouth is covered in slightly smeared red lipstick while the teeth are somewhat crooked and uneven. The eye is gray, unlike the blue it was during Monroes lifetime, and almost completely obscured by black eyeliner as well as the thick black eyebro w. Monroes hair has been colored a charcoal gray. The left half of the painting is divided in to four sections and contains the same imagery as found in Marilyn Monroe, I but contains some noticeable differences. The first section features a curled hand, cadaver white with painted blood red fingernails, pressed against a patch of skin. As the flesh has been enhanced with highlights and shadows, it is possible to determine the area as a breast, especially with the darkened circular area of the areola. The tops of the letters AR extend into the bottom portion of the first section and differ in color from the bottom of the letters: the top is black and white while the bottom of the letters, contained within the second half, is predominantly yellow with segments of violet due to the superimposed letters of a- and C from the Coca-C. The second section remains identical to that of Marilyn Monroe, I except for the variations in the coloring of the bottom of the letters AR.. The third section, comprised of a small block of the red and the white upper portio n of the a-C letters, remains identical as well. In the fourth section, Rosenquist has included more of Monroes mouth, yet the lips are 32 To further clarify the description of Marilyn please refer to Fig. 41a for each sections corresponding number.
79 still kept artificially red while the skin has b een given a non-realistic hue of distinct peach with stark white highlights. Rosenquist stresses the idea of decay and the passing of time throughout the piece. On the right side of the canvas, the partially colored mouth with its smeared lipstick, the cracked bottom lip, and the crooked teeth hint at decay and a loss of perfection. The gray eye, practically obliterated by the dark combination of eyeliner and thick eyelashes, furthers the idea of the passing of time. Photographs of Monr oe and the films she starred in are the only remaining images of Monroe, forever cementing M onroe at her glamorous age of thirty-six. Many of these films and photographs were captured in black and white; thus, Rosenquists choice to color her hair grey could be interpre ted as a reference to Monroes steadfast image. Running horizontally across the picture plane, Rosenquist has emboldened Coca-Cola label and increased its entanglement with ARILY. Thus, Monroe is reaffirmed as an emblem of American popular culture as Coca-Cola was still a wild successful soft drink. Although time moves relentlessly forward and her image may deteriorate, the overall image of Monroe still remains and Rosenquist recognizes her power still as an icon. There is a harmony throughout the work due to its color palette and composition. This is especially seen through the arms cadaverous white hue as it seamlessly flows into the black and white palette of the second section and picks up the white letters of the third and highlights of white throughout the rest of the painting. Once again, Rosenquist demonstrates the power of Monroes image for even in deat h and in an unrealistic depiction, Marilyn Monroe is still undeniably recognizable. Twelve years after Monroes death, Rose nquist appears to answer the question he first raised in Marilyn Monroe, I Using the same imagery, albeit with major stylistic
80 differences, Rosenquist reaffirms his transformation of Monroe from desirable sex object to adored icon and once again acknowledges the c ontinuing fascination of American popular culture with the Monroe icon, a fascination that has proliferated in the years following Monroes death. Andy Warhol: Immortalizing Marilyn Monroe as an American Icon By reexamining the Marilyns Warhol demonstrates Monroes continuing presence in popular culture as a recognizable American icon. From 1979 through 1986, he created a new series of paintings, Reversals and the Retrospectives Warhol dug out his old silkscreens from the 1960s and reexamined his old subjects. According to Bourdon, the series brought his Pop career full circle by enabling him to reuse all his trademarked motifs in novel contexts (Bourdon 378). In Retrospective he combined several of his famous images while, for the Reversals he focused on a single image and presented it as a negative to its famous counterpart. In the Reversals images, Warhol appears to present the negative of the original image. Bourdon noted this as well, As if the spectator were looking at photogr aphic negatives, highlighted faces have gone dark while former shadows now rush forward in electric hues. Sometimes this results in extravagantly melodramatic images. The reversed Marilyns, especially, have a lurid, otherworld glow, as if illuminated by infernal footlights. (Bourdon 378) Warhol examines his subject in, quite literally, a different light and, as a result, appears to contradict his original works. By highlighting the darkened areas of the original images, he has moved away from his earlier preoccupation with the surface to an interest in the other aspects the image offers. Onehundred and fifty black/white/grey Marilyns 1979 (fig. 42) features one-hundredand-fifty negative images of Monroe. As in his previous Marilyns Warhol has repeated the
81 publicity shot of Monroe for her 1953 film, Niagara However, the work differs in that the heads are presented almost life-sized. As a result, the work is colossal: almost seven feet tall, it is over thirty-four-and-a-half feet long. Monroes heads are arranged five by thirty, although the first vertical and horizontal rows of Marilyns have been limited by the edge of the canvas. In the vertical row, only the right side of Monroes face can be seen while the upper half of Monroes head is missing from the horizontal row. The color palette is black, white, and gray. Warhol has used the silkscreen process to produce the images of Monroe, and the Marilyns bear the evidence of the poor quality of their reproduction. Two separate groups of Marilyns, totaling twenty-three, are almost obliterated by separate black blotches, while the remaining Marilyns often feature white drip marks and scratches. Similar to his previous works represen ting Monroe, Warhol highlights her key characteristics: the outline of her head, eyebrows, eyes, nose, mouth, mole, and hair. By reversing the tonal range, Onehundred and fifty black/white/grey Marilyns references the perseverance of Monroes image in the pub lic domain and her continuing iconization. Although the minute details of Monr oe and her life have been lost the defining features of her image remain. Warhols depictions of Monroe are often interpreted as masks;33 however, Warhols use of a macabre palette displays hi s attempt to venture be yond Monroes mask and examine a deeper, darker side of her image. By highlighting her features as opposed to presenting them with lurid colors, he recognizes the outdated quality of Monroes image. By drawing the focus to Monroes characteristics, the viewer sees the enduring qualities of Monroes image and their conse quent role in Monroes iconiza tion. Also, Warhol attempts to 33 Warhol selected a Hollywood publicity photo that provides no insight into the real Norma Jean Baker . Rather, the viewer sees only a maskthe image the Hollywood myth machine generated (Gardner and Kleiner 984).
82 uncover the real Monroe by referencing th e photographic negatives, the source from which Monroes own image is created. However, it is still Monroe the icon that is presented, indicating the endurance of Monroes iconic presence. The format of the work also serves as a tool to adapt Monroes image to the current day. Although the work remains stubbornly une motional due to Warhols silkscreening process and Monroes replication, Warhols repe titious presentation of Monroe confronts the viewer as her image did in the immediate months following her death. Still, Onehundred and fifty black/white/grey Marilyns features more images of Monroe than any of his previous Marilyns By restricting the palette to black and white and presenting Monroe regimented in a grid format, he evokes the only medium in which the viewer can experience Monroe: the frame of film or photograph. Similar to Gold Marilyn Monroe the frame around each of the one hundred and fifty Marilyns also accentuates M onroes status as an idol by performing the role of halo. The resulting effect is Monroes placement within a celestial sphere. By updating and adapting Monroes image to the pres ent day, he celebrates Monroes continuing existence as a Pop culture icon as well as an immortalized, timeless image. Important to note is the true motivation behind Warhols decision to reexamine his Marilyns Warhol was crucial in giving Monroe everlasting power as an icon. Indeed, his portraits of the movie queen became classic icons of the 1960s (Bourdon 262). However, it can be argued that his portraits of Monroe cemented his own success as an artist. Warhol shrewdly took advantage of the tremendous media attention surrounding Monroes death by quickly producing his own images of her. By using Monroes immense fame to his advantage, he entered the spotlight alongside he r image, thus propelling himself to an almost
83 immediate celebrity status. His 1967 Marilyn portfolio further preserved his position as the Father of American Pop Art [ sic ] (Schlager 499).34 In the following decade, Warhols influence began to wane. According to Bourdon, throughout the 1970s, most of Warhols public continued to straitjacket him as an artist of the 1960s who had outlived his period of aes thetic importance (Bourdon 378). Although he continued to produce works, his new pieces failed to generate the impact of his prints from the sixties. However, by replicating his famous works in his Reversals and Retrospectives series, Warhol brought back not only a sense of nostalgia for a renowned subject of the sixties, but also important milestones in his career as an artist. By reusing Monroe as a subject seventeen years after her death, Warhol strengthened her image as he, once again, capitalizes on Monroes iconic status to resuscitate his career as a leading Pop artist. Warhols other Marilyns of his Reversals and the Retrospectives series also reiterate Monroes continuing status as an icon. Nine Multicolored Marilyns 1979-1986 (fig. 43), Four Marilyns 1979-1986 (fig. 44), and Marilyn 1979-1986 (fig. 45) are similar to Onehundred and fifty black/white/grey Marilyns in that Warhol uses the tonal reversals found in negative photographs to express the preemin ence of Monroes iconic status in any presentation. However, instead of white, Warhol uses a palette of bright primary colors and vibrant neons to highlight the features of Monroes image. Nine Multicolored Marilyns in particular, features a color palette reminiscent of a 1970s roller disco. It incorporates primary colors accented with pinks and light blues. This use of colors successfully adapts Monroes image to the present day. 34 Bourdon refers to Warhol as the pope of Pop (Bourdon 378).
84 In addition to updating Monroes image, the vibrant hues of the Marilyns also represent the continued fabrications of Monroes life. According to Churchwell, The early years of the 1970s yielded a bumper crop of Marilyn Monroe biographies (84). My Story Monroes unfinished autobiography, wa s published in 1974. Robert Slatzers The Life and Curious Death of Marilyn Monroe the first of many conspiracy books concerning the unusual circumstances surrounding Monroes death, was published in 1975. The facts of her life faded in favor of the development of her myth. Warhol references the dominance of the Monroe myth by subordinating Monroe, the subj ect, to the color palette. By using a vivid palette, Warhol perpetuates the colorful myth s surrounding and permeating Monroes image. Warhols Marilyn works of the Reversals and the Retrospectives series reiterate Monroes continual status as an icon. Through the immense repetition of Onehundred and fifty black/white/grey Marilyns and the vibrant palette of his other Marilyns in the series, Warhol adapts Monroe to the current day, thus establishing her as a timeless figure. Furthermore, by demonstrating Monroes adap tability in a celestial setting, Warhol secures Monroes continuation as a venerated idol. Willem de Kooning: Marilyn Monroe Unmistakable in Abstraction In 1982, following in the style of Warhol and Rosenquist, de Kooning depicted Marilyn Monroe again as a subject of his work. Big Blonde (Marilyn Monroe) 1982 (fig. 46) is an abstract work in which de Kooning again establishes Monroe as an icon by fracturing her image. The work is a lithograph, its size equivalent to that of a standard poster; the image measures roughly 21 x 35 (54 x 88.6 cm), the sheet measures 26 x 36 (67.7 x 91.8 cm). The color palette is subdued: gray, beige, red, yellow, black, brown, white, a pale skin tone,
85 and pink. In the upper right hand corner, indeci pherable text can be seen. Unlike the violent brushstrokes exhibited in Marilyn the brushstrokes of Big Blonde (Marilyn Monroe) are thick and languid, giving the work a contemplative, unaffected tone. Through her abstraction, de Kooning is ab le to depict Monroe by presenting key characteristics of her image: her lips, her ha ir, her figure, and her breasts. He also incorporates Monroes sexuality through the co mbination of the naked breast and stiletto shoe. Only a few distinct forms can be disti nguished within the piece: a large streak of yellow occupies most of the right half of the painting, two breasts (one yellow, one colored naturally) can be seen in the lower right corner, and an eye can be discerned in the beige sector near the upper left corner. Due to the incorporation of the breasts, the yellow area almost assumes the appearance of a reclining fi gure. In the upper right corner, the form takes on a circular appearance indica ting a head while a arm-like extension juts from the upper portion of the breasts. Smears of red can be seen throughout the left side of the work, possibly referencing Monroes famous lips. The black squiggle near the eye has the appearance of a stiletto sandal with an ankle strap. Like other Pop artists, such as Warhol and DArcangelo, de Kooning conveys the whole of Monroe through her individual parts. Through the exploration of Monroes image through isolated features, de Kooning references the cult of the relics and, consequently, the cult of Marilyn. At this time, the cult of Ma rilyn was still in exis tence and stronger than ever before, fueled by the continuing public fascination with Monroe. The use of Monroes characteristics to convey the whole of her image permits de Kooning to establish Monroes continuing presence in popular culture. Furthermore, in referencing the cult of Marilyn, de Kooning indicates Monroes unabated status as a revered icon.
86 This idea is reinforced through his use of color; the forms that the viewer is able to interpret as references to Monroe, such as the yellow and beige areas, are all juxtaposed by the color gray. As a result, De Kooning displays Monroes permanency through time. Furthermore, the vibrancy of the forms against the dull gray indicate the recognition of Monroes image has only strengthe ned in the thirty years since he last examined her image. Peter Blake: Marilyn Monroe Enshrined Best known for designing the sleeve of the Beatles Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album (1967), Peter Blake (British/American, b. 1932) was a leading figure of the British Pop art movement. In his works incorp orating Marilyn Monroe, he presents the dichotomy essential to the image of Monroe that exists today: overt sexuality and wide-eyed innocence. Through his use of collage, Blake demons trates that, even in death, Monroe is as much as part of American culture today as she was during her lifetime. Blakes love for pop culture began durin g his teenage years in addition to a developing interest in folk art, a term us ed to describe objects and applied decoration derived from community tradition and executed by people without formal training, either for daily use or associated with a particular tr adition, occasion, or ceremony (Rodgers). Blake collected traditional fairground and circus signboa rds, which was to heavily influence his work throughout his life (Bigham and Monem 38 ). When he began to explore Pop imagery in 1959, his interests ranged from Hollywood celebrities to pop musicians, and he approached his work as a fan of the images he presented. His imagery proclaimed Blakes adoration of his subjects and, as Livingstone observed, he removed himself entirely from the picture in order to present himself in the role of consumer, since however depersonalized these works are in technique, they are stri kingly personal in conve ying the passions and
87 enthusiasms he shared with many others ( Pop Art 44). Blakes work celebrates pop culture and its influence on the lives of its fans. Although Blake is considered a Pop artist, he views his use of popular imagery more as a form of folk art. Blake explains, What Im doing becomes folk art Although Im continually trying to establish a new Pop art, one which stems directly from our own time, Im always looking to find the technical forms th at will best recapture the authentic feel of folk pop (Osterwold 209). From Blakes point of view, mass media can be seen as a new form of folk art because of its references to the trends of current society. Thus, Blakes depictions of popular imagery can be viewed as a part of a new wave of folk art. However, Blakes primary ambition was for his work to achieve the directness and distribution of Pop music (Bigham and Monem 58). By creatin g works featuring mass produced imagery, Blakes devotion to and fanatic enthusiasm for popular culture was integral to the development of the British Pop art. In 1990, Blake opened a one-man show in London that featured Marilyn Monroe. According to Blake, after some discussion, it was decided that the theme should be Heroes, which then became an exhibition dedicated to Marilyn Monroe [ sic ] called In Homage to Marilyn Monroe (Blake). This was not the first time Blake had depicted Monroe in his work; she can be found on the sleeve of Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Blake was the first artist to have a one-man show centered on Monroe. Throughout his career, Blake explored both the nature of the hero [the celebrity] itself; how they came to be and what effect they have on the lives of the people who revere them as well as the fans role in the creation of celeb rity, and the subsequent role these popular idols play in the lives of the people that made th em famous through their very devotion (Bigham
88 and Monem 46-48). Both of these themes are explored in the works in the exhibit In Homage to Marilyn Monroe Furthermore, according to Livingstone, Blakes perhaps nave faith in the possibility that art could communicate with such directness helps to account both for the immediacy with which he thrust forward his chosen imagery, allowing the pictures to speak for themselves, and an almost magical belief in each painting as the embodiment of its subject. ( Pop Art 44) This quality of Blakes work can be seen in the shrines dedicated to Monroe in the exhibition. Thus, the inclusion of Shrine to MARILYN MONROE 1990 (fig. 47) and Shrine to MARILYN MONROE, in a Texas Diner 1989, (fig. 48) again demonstrate Monroes status as an icon almost thirty years after her death. In Shrine to MARILYN MONROE 1990, Blake venerates Monroe by using the structure of a shrine. It is a collage on w ood featuring some of the most well-known images of Monroe. The shrine measures almost two-anda-half feet in height and over three feet in width. The work is split in half: the top portion displays eleven shots of Monroe in different sizes against a yellow background while the botto m portion is completely filled with three images of Monroe. A red shelf is also conn ected to the work displaying six images of Monroe, a carnation wrapped in tin foil with ba bys-breath, two vases with a single rose, and a strip of film. The palette is vibrant; largely dominated by the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue, then contrasted by black and white photographs. The top half includes such notorious images as the billowing skirt scene from The Seven-Year Itch (fig. 49) and a nude photograph from Bert Sterns Last Sitting (fig. 50). The lower half has two magazine c overs featuring Monroe on the far left and far right. The center image is of an American Flag, the red stripes filled with roses. Below the last red stripe, a red background filled with glitter can be seen. In front of the flag is a publicity shot of Monroe from All About Eve 1950 (fig. 51). The shelf also holds images of Monroe: in the middle,
89 three images of Monroes face have been framed within a circle, square, and heart shaped photo frames while Blake has made the two images of Monroe on the far left and far right into standing figurines. The photographs and ma gazine covers all date from when Monroe was alive. Furthermore, the collection of photographs represents the entirety of Monroes career; from her beginnings as a model to her fi nal photo shoot, Blake effectively outlines the life of the image of Marilyn Monroe. A shrine is defined as any structure or place where worship or devotions are offered to a deity, spirit or sanctified person (Morgan et al.). By creating a shrine to Monroe, Blake is offering irrefutable evidence of Monroes continuing status as an icon as well as the preservation of the cult of Marilyn almost thirty years after her death. Furthermore, Blakes first shrine to Monroe insinuates Monroes iconic power has flourished over time. A shrine can be further defined as a sacred image of special importance, such as an icon or statue of the Virgin, or a holy place, often one marked by a church or the tomb of a saint or martyr and connected with pilgrimage (Morgan et al.). Th e use of a shrine in an exhibition dedicated solely to Monroe forces the viewer to assume the role of both an observer and a pilgrim. As a result, though the Shrine to MARILYN MONROE Blake contributes to the continuance of the cult of Marilyn. The inclusion of roses heightens the works function as a shrine. Flowers, tokens of esteem and affection, are often left on the graves of loved ones. Thus, the flowers in Shrine to MARILYN MONROE can be interpreted as a loving offering to her memory. Red roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. In Gr eek mythology, the rose was dedicated to Aphrodite (Venus), goddess of love (Silver thorne 163). The use of the red rose in conjunction with a shrine to Monroe is therefor e befitting as she is often referred to as the
90 Goddess of Love35 and a tragic Venus.36 Interestingly, red roses are also associated with both the blood of Christian martyrs and the Virgin Mary. According to Ross, the rose is among the most frequently found symbolic flower s in medieval art associated especially with Mary Saint Bernard compared Mary to a red rose (for her charity) Red roses also symbolize the blood of Christ and the martyr (90). By including the red rose, Blake has referenced Monroes famous dichotomy: he r sexuality framed by innocence. Blake further reinforces this duality by entwining a rose with babys breath. A popular counterpoint to the rose, babys breath is often viewed as a symbol of fertility and everlasting love (Hoffman and Manning 29). In addition, the fire of the Rose connects its divinity with its power as a symbol of female sexuality (Mahaffey 110). Monr oes sexuality, the red rose, is wrapped in the everlasting love of her fans, the babys-br eath. Blake effectively conveys the duality of Monroes image through the symbolism of the roses and babys breath. Blake also gives his shrine a vanitas aspect through the inclusion of flowers. A popular theme in Dutch paintings during the seventeenth century, vanitas works were concerned with the fragility of man and his world of desires and pleasures in the face of the inevitability and finality of death (Langdon) Usually still-lifes, vanitas works were identifiable by their use of symbols, such as skulls and decaying fruit. The hour-glass was another common symbol; in a sense, Monroes fa mous hourglass figure can be seen as an affirmation of this vanitas theme. By placing roses within the work, Blake refers to the inevitability of death, especially Monroes. However, by using roses in full bloom, he refers 35 In Still Following Percy Lawson declares, Time Magazine had made her status official just few years before : In Hollywoods pagan pantheon, Marilyn Monroe is the Goddess of Love . She bears, in fact, a sharp resemblance to the airbrush Aphrodite known in the 30s as the Petty Girl (59). 36 Edwin Palmer Hoyt entitled his 1973 Monroe biography, Marilyn: the Tragic Venus
91 to her untimely death in the full bloom of her life. Blake reiterates this through the inclusion of images of Monroe, young and beautiful, throughout her career prime. Interestingly, Blake uses fake roses rather than real ones in the shrine. As a result, he demonstrates Monroes image has not withered and died in time; instead, like a fake rose, it has remained frozen in full bloom and will continue to live on, perfectly preserved. The inclusion of roses in the stripes of the Ameri can flag in conjunction with a promotional shot of Monroe from one of her earliest important ro les indicates Monroe as an American icon. Blake created a second shrine for the exhibition, Shrine to MARILYN MONROE, in a Texas Diner 1990. Measuring four feet tall, the piece is over fourteen-and-a-half feet long and composed of three distinct wooden panels. Due to Blakes incorporation of a variety of images, the color palette is as varied as its images. However, the work does appear to be dominated by a vibrant palette of prima ry colors: red, blue, and yellow. The far left panel has the appearance of a la dies restroom door. The left edge of the door features a doorknob near the bottom, a brass panel (to push the door), a status square turned to Engaged, and a photograph of John Wa yne. The interior pane ls of the two-panel door frame nine photographs. A pin-up image of Monroe can be seen on the right panel, second from the top. The image is partially obscured by a Houston Astros baseball cap and a green and yellow letter jacket hanging on a hook on the door. Below the jacket is an ad for a non-carbonated beverage, Burbys. Three signs fill the bottom of the door: from right to left, the Pepsi-Cola logo, a Ladies plaque, and the Coca-Cola logo. The middle panel is the largest panel and is divided horizontally by the presence of a mantel. The panel is also split into two sections by Blakes placement of the images: the left side is dominated by images of Monroe, while the right is bare save the state flag of Texas
92 and a circular postcard featuring the city of Houston. Interesting to note is the size of these two sections are equal to the width of both the left and right panels. As a result, when the work is folded, the central panel is completely protected by its two wings. Like the panel, the mantel has also been divide d by the images of Monroe. The left side of the mantel holds five vases of flowers and two framed photographs of Monroe. The right side displays a bottle of Lone Star Beer and an empty glass. There are also several indeterminate items lying flat on the right side of the ledge. The first one can be seen underneath the Lone Star beer; due to its placement, it appears to be a large coaste r. The second item, probably an ashtray, is located behind the glass. The last item on the ledge appears to be a laminated menu. Below the ledge are three Texas pennants and two license plates. The right panel features three distinct sections. The first is a photograph from a costume test of Marilyn Monroe in a furtrimmed robe. The second item is a Pepsi-Cola advertisement. The third section appears to be a bulletin board filled with miscellaneous items: a bumper sticker advertisi ng Henrys Hideout, a postcard featuring the flag and state of Texas, a Coca-Cola advertisement, a photograph, a poster from the Harris County Sheriffs Department of Ten of the Most Wanted Fugitives, a warranty deed from The Tejas Black Gold Oil Company, A Deed to Oil Well Royalties, and a yellow business card. The work is described as a triptych. A popular form for altarpieces, a triptych is composed of three panels: a central panel fl anked by wings, which may be hinged. According to Schmidt, triptychs did exist in antiquity as cult images, portraits and independent paintings. Until the nineteenth century, triptychs were predominantly religious, but the triptych itself is not tied to a specific function (Schmidt). However, triptychs are still
93 widely viewed as tools for the veneration of an idol. Blakes decision to depict Shrine to MARILYN MONROE, in a Texas Diner as a triptych allows Monroe to be presented as a venerated idol on a le vel equal to that of Christian icons. Reading from left to right, the left panel represents Monroe during her career, the central panel shows Monroe in the year of her d eath, and the left panel depicts Monroe as she is viewed today. It is difficult to find Monroe in the right panel as her photograph is partially hidden by the jacket and hat. As a result, it is the responsibility of the viewer to discover Monroe amidst the other images of popular celeb rities of the fifties, including Elvis Presley and Brigitte Bardot. Thus, Monroe is presented as she was in life, as just one starlet of many in Hollywood. By partly obscuring her photograph, Blake also draws attention to how easily replaceable celebrities were. Monroe, in particul ar, was in constant danger of being replaced as she was notoriously difficult to work with on set. She was fired from her last film, Somethings Got To Give after working only twelve out of a total of thirty-five days of production. By obscuring Monroes image by a jacket amidst images of other celebrities, Blake presents Monroe as she was in life: one of the top studio earners but always close to losing it all. The middle panel presents Monroe in the year of her death. The right half of the panel is filled with magazine covers featuring Monroe s face, and date from the last few years of Monroes life. Meanwhile, the framed images on the mantel and the four large photographs are all iconic photographs of Monroe. Blake also includes small snapshots of Shirley Temple, Rita Hayworth, and Mae West. By presenting images of Monroe alongside three stars whose iconography lasted years after the end of their car eers, Blake hints that the death of Monroe is also the beginning of Monroes enduring role as an icon.
94 However, Monroes death is faced with uncertainty, as demonstrated by the left half of the middle panel. By keeping the area devoid of any image except for the Texas state flag and Houston postcard, Blake stops to mourn the loss of Monroe. Unlike her image in the first panel, there is no new starlet to take her place. Instead, Blake demonstrates Monroes development into something irreplaceable. By juxtaposing her image with the blank area, Blake demonstrates the continuation of Monroe in popular culture. He takes advantage of the triptych structure to allow the viewer to c ontemplate Monroes continuation in the future: will she remain an iconic figure in Pop culture or, like so many other stars before her, vanish from the public eye? The pennants and Texas license plates seem not to add anything essential to the work; however, when viewed in conjunction with the signs from the lower portion of the first panel, Blake has used these signs to direct the viewers eye to the right panel: how Monroe is viewed today. The right panel successfully answ ers the question raised in the central panel. Dominating the right panel is a full-body image of Monroe in a fur-trimmed robe. By placing the largest image of Monroe in the last pane l, Blake demonstrates the growing strength and acceptance of Monroe as an American icon. Monroe is shown fully clothed, yet the deep neckline and high slit of the robe present M onroes duality of childlike innocence and overt sexuality that was the basis of her appeal during her life. Almost thirty years after her death, her image still holds the same appeal. By placing her in conjunction with ads for Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola, Blake establishes her as an icon equal to either soft drink in current popular culture. Furthermore, Blake also references the demand for Monroe with the Ten of the Most Wanted Fugitives poster from the local countys Sheriffs department. Through suicide,
95 Monroe fled from life, becoming a fugitive herself. Thus, the shrine becomes more intimate and personal because the veneration of this shrine would only occur by the patrons, or pilgrims, of the diner. Thus, Blake presents Monr oe not only as an Ameri can idol but also as a personal icon. At first, Blakes creation of a shrine within a Texas diner seems to be a bizarre choice. The Houston Astros baseball cap in the first panel, the Houston postcard in the middle panel, and the location of Henrys Hide out in the bumper sticker in the third panel indicate Houston as the specific location of the shrine. Still, Houston, Texas has no relevance to Monroes life; she was born in Los Angele s and died there as well. Her work never required her to travel to Texas, whether it was for filming or a premiere. However, by placing this shrine in a Houston diner, Blake stresses the immense availability of Monroes image to the public, her everyman appeal, and the widespread continuation of the cult of Marilyn. By repeatedly using Lone Star state paraphernalia, Blake presents Monroe as a Lone Star: not only the Lone Star of the work, she is also the Lone Star whose appeal and status as an idol has increased over time. Furthermore, Blake brings the viewers attention to the Lone Star quality of Monroes image; a lthough thousands of images exist of Monroe, the same image is always presented. Th e photograph of Monroe in the third panel represents her Lone Star image as, even thirty years after her death, she still appears as she did at the beginning of her career. Shrine to MARILYN MONROE and Shrine to MARILYN MONROE, in a Texas Diner pay homage to the legend of Marilyn Monroe Through his collage works of photographs, flowers, and found materials, Blake establishes her continuing role as an icon in American popular culture.
96 Robert Indiana: Marilyn Monroe (Still) Beloved Like Warhol and de Kooning, Robert Indi ana revisited a subject from a previous artwork in Norma Jean Loved 2000 (fig. 52). In his depiction of Norma Jean and Marilyn Monroe, Indiana once again examines the girl behind the Monroe image. By using the Golden Dreams pose, Indiana incorporates Monroes image of innocence and sexual appeal, noting its prevalent power. He also uses this duality to comment on Monroes status as an icon. Although Norma Jean herself was not an ic on, the choice of the transitional image hints at the idol she will become, and remain, almost forty years after her death. Measuring almost four feet on each side, the work has a simpler design than The Metamorphosis of Norma Jean Mortenson 1967. The tilted square canvas features Monroe set against a star in the center of the work, framed by a ring with the words NORMA JEAN LOVED. The color palette is equally simple: th e canvas has a silver background, the ring is lined in turquoise with a white interior, the letters are black, the star is purple, and Monroe is depicted realistically with a pale skin tone red mouth and nipples, and blonde hair with brown accents. Norma Jean Loved features the same central image as The Metamorphosis of Norma Jean Mortenson The nude, upper torso of Monroe, inspired by her 1948 Golden Dreams calendar shot, is set against a purple star. She is presented erotically with her left eye partially closed and her mouth open, revealing white teeth, almost as if she is in ecstasy. Her left arm is bent and raised above her h ead; meanwhile her head is turned to the left, tucked behind her left arm, and slightly thrown back. Tendrils of her curly blonde hair with ochre lowlights cascade down her arched back, her breasts thrust forward towards the viewer.
97 Once again, Indiana has select ed an image with an unusual duality as it presents both Norma Jean and Marilyn Monroe. It is an im age that could have ended Monroes rising career; instead, it helped bring Monroe into the spotlight and set her on the road to success. This image presents Norma Jean in the midst of her transformation into Marilyn Monroe. Indiana directs the viewers attention to the girl behind the Monroe image, Norma Jean, through the words NORMA JEAN LOVED. With this statement, Indiana presents the viewer with two questions: Was Norma Jean l oved? Or did Norma Jean love? The questions answer is dependent on the individual; consequently, the work has an unsettled quality. Indiana further establishes Monroe as an icon by encircling her within a celestial sphere. This celestial sphere is marked by the inner outline of the ring, and reemphasized by the purple star and the silver setting. According to Porterfield, Believers marked an icon that held special meaning by decorating it with a silver setting (194). Furthermore, in Early Christian devotion, possession of an icon permitted a most satisfying form of Christian devotion in the privacy of their homes, [people] set up their icons and poured out their distress, prayer, and gratitude to the figure, whom they came to know in a very personal way (Herrin 309). Due to the smaller size of Norma Jean Loved and its current location in a private collection, it would appear Indiana inte nded the work to be owned by an individual. By referencing Early Christian imagery, Indiana demonstrates Monroes status as an idol. Indiana has created an image in which Monroe is an exalted idol and, consequently, the viewer knows it is an image of Norma Jean Loved. By Connollys definition, Monroes poste rity was given a limit of ten years. However, Monroes immense popularity failed to diminish in the years following her death and, instead, has grown. The reappearance of Monroe in the works of Pop artists including
98 James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Indiana as well as Peter Blakes In Homage to Marilyn Monroe serve as evidence of Monroes continuing reign as the Goddess of Pop art. Monroe perseveres as an integral figure in popular culture, partly due the efforts of these leading Pop artists. By featuring Monroe as a subject these artists successfully adapted her image to the current times, thus cementing Monroe as a timeless American icon.
99 Conclusion: Marilyn Monroe: The Woman Who Will Not Die Her legend, like that of any true Goddess, refu ses to be in any way diminished by time. It actually increases. People who resisted her appeal while she lived amongst us have succumbed to it at last. And very few who loved her then have forgotten her now. Freeman Gunter Born Norma Jean Mortenson, Marilyn Monroe became a box-office draw with her performance in the 1953 film, Niagara Her images dual nature of innocence and sexuality captivated the public, and Monroe quickly b ecame an international sex object. In 1962, Monroes unexpected and premature death coincided with the success of the Pop art movement. In life, she had been prolific in be ing photographed and, in the months following her death, she continued to be regularly featur ed in magazines. Thus, Monroe was the perfect subject for Pop art as she was viewed as a consumable object and he r image continued to dominate the mass media. The establishment of Monroe as an icon by Pop artists resulted in her perseverance in popular culture that continues to the current day. Art historians often bemoan the Pop art m ovements lack of unity among its members in aim, technique, and style. However, many Pop artists are unified in their use of Monroe as a subject. Through the idolization of Monroe, many of the Pop artists placed Monroe in an art historical context by using characteristics of religious imagery. Early Christian imagery played a dominant role in the idolization a nd consequent preservation of Monroe within popular culture, thus demonstrating the magnit ude of Monroes influence in American popular culture as well as challenging the a pparent simplicity of the Pop art movement.
100 Furthermore, the employment of similar methods in Monroes idolization indicated that there was more in common between the Pop artists than an examination of popular imagery. Over the course of my thesis, I have demonstrated many examples of Monroes establishment as an idol by Pop artists. Although I focused on the idolatry of Monroe by the male Pop artist, the exploration of her iconic status is not limited to the American Pop movement or the male artist. Artists of vari ous nationalities as well as both sexes featured and continue to incorporate Monroe into th e canvas, ranging from the American photorealist Audrey Flack to the dcollage work of Italian Mimmo Rotella. As I have shown, the Pop artists canonized Monroe and, consequently, celebrated her continuing presence in popular culture. Although Monroe was renowned for her sexuality, I stressed my interest in those Pop artists who presented Monroe as more than just a sexual object. For example, leading Pop artist Mel Ra mos created works featuring Monroe, but was excluded due to his interest in heightening M onroes sexuality. In the introduction, I defined the Pop art movement before focusing on one of its dominant subjects: Marilyn Monroe. I outlined the problem with scholarship on Monroe in Pop artthere was a lack of comprehensive workand why the problem ex isted few scholars have explored beyond the sexuality of Monroes image. After a brief examination of Monroein order to establish the reasoning behind the dominance of her image within the Pop art movementI proceeded to identify the Pop artists presentation of Monroe in Pop art as a venerated goddess. Chapter One, The Establishment of Marilyn Monroe as an Icon (1954-1962), discussed images of Monroe in art from her first appearance on the canvas from 1954 through 1962, the year of her death. Although Monroe was considered an idol before her death, her status as an idol was firmly established by the artists during the months
101 immediately following Monroes death. Her presentation as an icon began in life, as seen in the work of Willem de Kooning and Peter Phillips, and was continued in the works of Andy Warhol, Allan DArcangelo, and James Rosenquist By fracturing Monroes public image, often taken directly from a print source, these artists observed and enhanced her iconic status. In Chapter Two, The Affirmation of Monroe as an Icon (1963-1972), I focused on artworks of Monroe during the ten-year period following her death to demonstrate her growing popularity and the resulting continuing cultural relevance of Monroes image. So popular was she in the years following her death, an exhibition, Homage to Marilyn Monroe occurred at the Sidney Janis Gallery in 1967. Even in death, Monroe continued to be both a current, popular image and a favorite subject of Pop artists. Robert Indiana, Richard Hamilton, Claes Oldenburg, George Segal, Tom Wesselmann, and Andy Warhol reexamined the popular images of Monroe, often drawing on Early Christian imagery and the idea of the cult of the relics to reaffirm her status as an icon. In my last chapter, The Continuation of Marilyn Monroe as an Icon (1973-Present), I used Connollys limitation of posterity to ten years to demonstrate Monroes unique longevity. In becoming one of Americas most enduring icons, Monroes image remained part of popular culture. The reappearance of Monroe in the canvases of Pop artists, including James Rosenquist, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooni ng, and Robert Indiana in addition to Peter Blakes In Homage to Marilyn Monroe serve as evidence of Monroes continuing status as an idol. Furthermore, by successfully adapting her image to the current times, these Pop artists were able to cement Monroe as a timeless American icon. Throughout my thesis, I have shown the iconic depictions of Marilyn Monroe by male Pop artists. In doing so, I have provided a framework that shows the new and radical
102 ways in which Monroe has con tinued to be a powerful icon within American popular culture as well as strengthen the overall c oherency of the Pop art movement.
103 Figures Fig. 1. Marcel Duchamp, Fountain 1917; rpt. in Carol Strickland and Kohn Boswell, The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to PostModern (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1992; print; 148). Fig. 2. This is Tomorrow, 1956; rpt. in Richard Hamilton, Richard Hamilton (London: Tate Gallery, 1992; print).
104 Fig. 3. Willem de Kooning, Marilyn Monroe 1954, Collection of Neuberger Museum; rpt. in Geri De Paoli, Elvis + Marilyn: 2 X Immortal : [Exhibition ... The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts, November 2, 1994 January 8, 1995 ...] (New York: Rizzoli, 1994; print; 4). Fig. 4. Venus of Willendorf c. 30,000 c. 18,000, Museum of Natural History, Vienna; rpt. in Carol Strickland and John Boswell, The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1992; print).
105 Fig. 5. Peter Phillips, For Men OnlyStarring MM and BB 1961, Centro de Arte ModernaFundaao Calouse Gulbenkian, Lisbon; rpt. in Marco Livingstone, Pop Art: A Continuing History (New York: H.N. Abrams, 1990; print; 99). Fig. 6. Giotto, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints (Ognissanti Madonna) c.13051310, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence; rp t. in Ognissanti Madonna (Madonna in Maest); GIOTTO di Bondone ; Web Gallery of Art, n.d.; Web; 24 March 2009.
106 Fig. 7. Andy Warhol, Marilyn Diptych 1962, Tate Gallery; rpt. in Marilyn Diptych 1962; Tate Collection | Marilyn Diptych by Andy Warhol ; Tate Online, September 2004; Web; 24 February 2009. Fig. 8. Frank Powolny, Marilyn Monroe 1953; rpt. in FRANK POWOLNY (1902-1986), Marilyn Monroe 1953; LOT 30 / SALE 5435 ; Christies, n.d.; Web; 22 February 2009.
107 Fig. 8a. Andy Warhol, Mechanical (Marilyn Monroe) c. 1953, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Julia Bigham and Nadine Kthe Monem, Pop Art Book (London: Black Dog, 2007; print; 54). Fig. 9. Jan van Eyck, Diptych of the Annunciation 1441, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; rpt. in Diptych of the Annunciation; EYCK, Jan van ; Museo ThyssenBornemisza; n.d.; Web; 24 March 2009.
108 Fig. 10. Anton Miriello, St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church ; rpt. in St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church of Greenfield, PA ; New Guild Studio, n.d.; Web; 12 February 2009. Fig. 11. Marilyn Monroe with Joe DiMaggio at the premiere of the Seven Year Itch 1955; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print).
109 Fig. 12. Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroes Lips 1962, Private Collection; rpt. in Marilyn Monroes Lips ; ArtStor, n.d.; Web; 2 April 2009. Fig. 13. Andy Warhol, Gold Marilyn Monroe 1962, Museum of Modern Art, New York; rpt. in David Boudon, Warhol (New York: Abrams, 1989; print; 126).
110 Fig. 13a. Close up. Andy Warhol, Gold Marilyn Monroe 1962, Museum of Modern Art, New York; rpt. in David Boudon, Warhol (New York: Abrams, 1989; print; 126). Fig. 14. Cambrai Madonna (Notre-Dame de Grce) Circle of Ambrogio Lorenzetti (Siena) ca. 1340, Metropolitan Museum of Art; rpt. in Byzantium: Faith and Power (12611557) ; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, March 23-July 4, 2004; Web; 3 April 2009.
111 Fig. 15. Allan DArcangelo, Marilyn 1962; rpt. in Marco Livingstone, Pop Art: A Continuing History (New York: H.N. Abrams, 1990; print; 84). Fig. 16. Photograph of Monroe as Grand Marshall 1952. rpt. in James Haspiel, The Unpublished Marilyn (Edinburgh: Mainstream Pub, 2000; print; 56).
112 Fig. 17. Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa c. 15031506, Muse du Louvre, Paris; rpt. in Carol Strickland and Kohn Boswell, The Annotated Mona Lisa: A Crash Course in Art History from Prehistoric to Post-Modern (Kansas City: Andrews and McMeel, 1992; print; 34). Fig. 18. Salvador Dal, S elf portrait as Mona Lisa 1954; rpt. in Baron, Robert A., 14: Dali ; Mona Lisas, n.d.; Web; 30 April 2009.
113 Fig. 19. James Rosenquist Marilyn Monroe, I 1962, Museum of Modern Art, New York; rpt. in Marco Livingstone, Pop Art: A Continuing History (New York: H.N. Abrams, 1990; print; 84). Fig. 19a. Numbered. James Rosenquist, Marilyn Monroe, I 1962, Museum of Modern Art, New York; rpt. in Marco Livingstone, Pop Art: A Continuing History (New York: H.N. Abrams, 1990; print; 84).
114 Fig. 20. Coca-Cola classic logo rpt. in ProductsImages Gallery; Press Center ; CocaCola, n.d.; Web; 15 Feb. 2009. Fig. 21. Marilyn Monroe in production shot from aborted film 'Something's Got to Give' 1962; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print).
115 Fig. 22. Bert Stern, Photograph from The Last Sitting 1962; rpt. in Bert Stern, Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting (Munich: Schirmer Art Books, 1992; print). Fig. 23. Clive Barker, Study for Sculpture (Coke and Marilyn) 1969, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, UK; rpt. in Julia Bigham and Nadine Kthe Monem, Pop Art Book ( London: Black Dog, 2007; print; 56).
116 Fig. 24. George Barris, Marilyn Monroe at Santa Monica Beach 1962; rpt. Marilyn Monroe; Santa Monica Beach 1962; Ms-Monroe.com, n.d.; Web; 12 March 2009. Fig. 25. George Barris, Marilyn Monroe at Santa Monica Beach 1962; rpt. in Marilyn Monroe; Santa Monica Beach 1962; Ms-Monroe.com, n.d.; Web; 12 March 2009.
117 Fig. 26. Richard Hamilton. My Marilyn 1964, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; rpt. in Marc Scheps and Iris Bruckgraber; 20th Century Art, Museum Ludwig Cologne (Kln: Taschen, 1996; print; 261). Fig. 26a. Numbered. Richard Hamilton. My Marilyn 1964, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; rpt. in Marc Sc heps and Iris Bruckgraber; 20th Century Art, Museum Ludwig Cologne (Kln: Taschen, 1996; print; 261).
118 Fig. 27. Richard Hamilton, My Marilyn 1965, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; rpt. in Klaus Honnef, and Uta Grosenick, Pop Art (Kln: Taschen, 2004; print; 39). Fig. 28. Richard Hamilton, My Marilyn 1966, rpt. in My Marilyn by Richard Hamilton; University of Warwick Art Collection ; Warwick, 28 Jan 2008; Web; 19 February 2009.
119 Fig. 29. Robert Indiana, The Metamorphosis of Norma Jean Mortenson 1967; rpt. in Geri De Paoli, Elvis + Marilyn: 2 X Immortal : [Exhibition ... The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts, November 2, 1994 January 8, 1995 ...] (New York: Rizzoli, 1994; print). Fig. 30. Golden Dreams 1947; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print).
120 Fig. 31. A New Wrinkle 1947; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print). Fig. 32. Cover of the first issue of Playboy feat. Marilyn Monroe 1953; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print).
121 Fig. 33. Claes Oldenburg, Lipstick with Stroke Attached (for M.M.) 1969-1971, Private Collection; rpt. in Christin Mamiya, Pop Art and Consumer Culture: American Supermarket (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992; print; 100). Fig. 34. George Segal, The Movie Poster, 1967, Private Collection; rpt. in George Segal (1924-2000): The Movie Poster ; LOT 24 / SALE 2167 ; Christies, n.d.; Web; 1 May 2009.
122 Fig. 35. Promotional image of Monroe for Some Like It Hot 1957; rpt. in Marilyn; Some Like it Hot ; If Magazine, n.d.; Web; 1 May 2009. Fig. 36. Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) 1967, Private Collection; rpt. in Feldman, Frayda, et al., Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonn, 1962-1987 (New York, N.Y.: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers in association with R. Feldman Fine Arts, Inc, 1997; print).
123 Fig. 37a-j. Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) 1967, Private Collection; rpt. in Feldman, Frayda, et al., Andy Warhol Prints: A Catalogue Raisonn, 1962-1987 (New York, N.Y.: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers in association with R. Feldman Fine Arts, Inc, 1997; print).
124 Fig. 38. Vishnu reclining on the serpent Ananta c. 1850-1870, Victoria & Albert Museum, London; rpt. in Vishnu reclining on the serpent Ananita; Image ; Victoria & Albert Museum, n.d.; Web; 1 May 2009. Fig. 39. Vishnu & Lakshmi on The Serpent of Eternity c. 1870, Victoria & Albert Museum, London; rpt. in Vishnu & Lakshmi on The Serpent of Eternity; Image Details ; Victoria & Albert Museum. n.d.; Web; 24 April 2009.
125 Fig. 40. Tom Wesselmann, Mouth #14 (Marilyn ), 1967, Private Collection, New York; rpt. in Wesselmann, Tom; Art & Art History Visual Resources Collecting ; Digital Archive Services, n.d.; Web; 25 April 2009. Fig. 41. James Rosenquist, Marilyn 1974, Tate Collection, London; rpt. in Marilyn 1974; Tate Collection | Marilyn by James Rosenquist ; Tate Online, n.d.; Web; 12 Feb 2008.
126 Fig. 41a. Numbered. James Rosenquist, Marilyn 1974, Tate Collection, London; rpt. in Marilyn 1974; Tate Collection | Marilyn by James Rosenquist ; Tate Online, n.d.; Web; 12 Feb 2008. Fig. 42. Warhol. Onehundred and fifty black/white/grey Marilyns 1979. Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen on canvas. 201 x 1055 cm. Courtesy Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich; Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol The Late Work Paintings & Wallpapers  (Mnchen: Prestel, 2004; print.)
127 Fig. 43. Andy Warhol, Nine Multicolored Marilyns 1979-1986, Private Collection; Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol: wystawa z kolekcji Jos Mugrabiego = (Warsaw: Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, 1998; print). Fig. 44. Andy Warhol. Four Marilyns Reversal 1979-1986, Private Collection; Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol: wystawa z kolekcji Jos Mugrabiego = (Warsaw: Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, 1998; print).
128 Fig. 45. Andy Warhol. Marilyn Reversal 1979-1986, Private Collection; Andy Warhol, Andy Warhol: wystawa z kolekcji Jos Mugrabiego = (Warsaw: Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, 1998; print). Fig. 46. Willem De Kooning. Big Blonde (Marilyn Monroe) 1982, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California; rpt. in Big Blonde (Marilyn Monroe) ArtStor, n.d.; Web; 2 April 2009.
129 Fig. 47. Peter Blake, Shrine to MARILYN MONROE 1990; rpt. in Peter Blake, Peter Blake: In Homage to Marilyn Monroe. [Exhibiti on] Wetterling Gallery, Gothenburg, May 17-June 17, 1990 (Gothenburg: Wetterling Gallery, 1990; print). Fig. 48. Peter Blake, Shrine to MARILYN MONROE, in a Texas Diner 1989; rpt. in Peter Blake, Peter Blake: In Homage to Marilyn Monroe. [Exhibition] Wetterling Gallery, Gothenburg, May 17-June 17, 1990 (Gothenburg: Wetterling Gallery, 1990; print).
130 Fig. 49. Subway Grate Scene, The Seven Year Itch , 1955; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print). Fig. 50. Bert Stern, Photograph from The Last Sitting 1962; rpt. in Bert Stern, Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting (Munich: Schirmer Art Books, 1992; print).
131 Fig. 51. Publicity shot of Monroe for All About Eve 1950; rpt. in Susan Doll, Marilyn, Her Life & Legend (New York: Beekman House, 1990; print). Fig. 52. Robert Indiana, Norma Jean Loved 2000, Private Collection; rpt. in Norma Jean Loved, 2000 by Robert Indiana; Lot 33 at Phillips De Pury November 13, 2008 ; chelseaartgalleries.com, n.d.; Web; 23 March 2009.
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