About this artwork
Due in part to his experience as a highly successful commercial illustrator in the 1950s, Andy Warhol was as much businessman as artist and understood the value of mass production and distribution. By the early 1960s, screenprinting had become the favored medium for commercial printing jobs, such as labels and signage. It was used to quickly reproduce photographic images on almost any flat surface. By 1962 Warhol had begun using it to put repeated images on his canvases—images that he had previously painted painstakingly by hand. Because Warhol had not finessed the process, his printing “mistakes” became a signature. In 1967 he began publishing limited-edition print portfolios in his studio under the aegis of Factory Editions.
Marilyn was the first such portfolio, consisting of ten images made from the same 1953 publicity photograph of Marilyn Monroe in the film Niagara, which Warhol transformed with intentionally off-register printing and garish combinations of psychedelic colors. Daylight fluorescent colors, better known as Day-Glo colors, were invented in the 1930s, and by the 1960s had become integral to the graphic vocabulary of Pop art. While a conventional bright color reflects 80 to 90 percent of its color, a Day-Glo color appears to reflect more than 300 percent of its color. It is no wonder then that art historian Robert Rosenblum observed that Marilyn’s face “seems perpetually illuminated by the afterimage of a flashbulb.” With this method and presentation, Warhol and his work became synonymous with Pop Art.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Andy Warhol
- Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn)
- United States (Artist's nationality)
- Color screenprint on cream card
- 91.4 × 91.4 cm (36 × 36 in.)
- Margaret Fisher Endowment
- © 2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York