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Diptych Marilyn

Andy Warhol • Painting, 1962, 205.4×289.5 cm
About the artwork
This artwork was added since it is referred to in the materials below
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Portrait
Style of art: Pop Art
Technique: Serigraphy, Acrylic
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1962
Size: 205.4×289.5 cm
Artwork in collection: - Vlad Maslov
Artwork in selections: 32 selections
Exhibitions history
Andy Warhole
March 12 − September 6, 2020
Tate Modern, Bankside

Description of the artwork «Diptych Marilyn»

At nine years old, Andy got sick with Sydenham's chorea (also known as "St Vitus dance") and spent several months in bed. A mother who cared for Warhol, was looking for any ways to entertain and distract the boy, but most of all he was like coloring books. For each page, neatly painted Julia gave his son a piece of chocolate. Many years later Andy will write his first painting in which, as in all subsequent unmistakable echoes of his childhood love of coloring. Clearly delineated black outlines and region, exactly filled with pure color, became one of the main features of the artist.

Warhol began work on diptych "Marilyn" in August 1962, a week after the suicide of Marilyn Monroe. This sad event made the artist think about the American cult of celebrity and how this cult transformered and continues to exist after the death of a star. This idea is embodied in the form of huge canvases with 50 portraits of the actress: half of them brightly painted, the other half black and white, and some images as if deliberately "spoiled", too pale or too dark. Based on the famous Warhol took a publicity shot of Marilyn from the movie "Niagara" 1952, but some black-and-white portraits on the right side of the canvas resemble the death mask of the actress. Art historian and critic Camille Paglia in her book "Glittering Images" I noticed that the work of Warhol is the best displays of "plurality of values" of the life and legacy of Marilyn Monroe.

Andy Warhol was one of the first artists to use screen printing in their work. For this he was, by the way, deserve a lot of criticism from critics, as the painting assumed a more close and prolonged contact of the artist with the material used. Works of art are literally stamped one after another. The use of screen printing forms allowed Warhol to produce dozens of the same paintings in a short time. In addition, as in the case of portraits of Marilyn and other characters of his works using this technique it was possible to create different versions of the same image using a variety of color compositions. The first such series were portraits of Monroe, and later Warhol began to use this method with other paintings.

Author: Eugene Sidelnikov