Offset Lithograph (out of publication) in orange on white background (1998)
ABOUT THE ART
In 1962, Warhol became extremely excited about photographic silkscreen printing. It was this technique that would become Warhol's most definitive style: it was simple, quick and he could perform slight modifications to the same photo over and over again. It is hard to imagine, but it was pure coincidence Warhol decided to portray Marilyn Monroe in one of his earliest, and undoubtably his most famous, works of pop art. She ended her life that same month, and her beautiful face, as well as her fame, seemed a great foundation for his repetitive print and cartoon-like artwork. He was right about that!
Of all Andy Warhol's celebrity subjects, none seem more perfectly emblematic of how the artist perceived and synthesized America than Marilyn Monroe. Warhol saw in Monroe all the promise, beauty, pleasure, fame and tragedy that 1960s America was capable of realizing. In his Marilyn portraits – which he began shortly after Monroe's death, in August 1962 – it's impossible to locate what one might call the truth of the subject. By design, Warhol appears to welcome the many, mask-like guises that at once seem to obscure, protect and yet also define Monroe: actress, sex symbol, innocent ingenue, Hollywood product. For a 1964 series of 40-by-40-inch portraits of Monroe, Warhol turned to the ad man's brash, saturated palette (one that he, the accomplished fashion illustrator, knew well) to colour the hair, eyelids and lips of the fallen star, as well as the field around her floating, disembodied visage. This is the series to which belongs the ravishing Orange Marilyn. This is a Andy Warhol "Orange Marilyn" Lithograph measured at 23.5" x 31.5".