Visual Analysis: Andy Warhol

A screen-painting Marilyn Monroe (1962) created by Andy Warhol is a painting of a celebrated actress known as a symbol of sexuality in the ’50s. Warhol’s work was a commentary on her life and death and was created in Manhattan a few weeks after Marilyn ended her life. Andy Warhol appropriated Marilyn’s impersonal image generated for mass reproduction then furthered the colors. He thoroughly portrayed Marilyn’s distinct platinum blonde hair and beauty marks utilizing principles such as form, color, value, and contrast. The distribution of the form is evident in his work as it catches the viewer’s eye to observe the piece without focusing on one specific part. In addition, the use of contrast and color differences can be clearly seen in his work—the contrast between the lighted and shadowed parts of Marilyn’s face strengthens the focus and creates unity. Besides, the sense of dejection and holiness of Marilyn Monroe is created as the contrast between dark and light values illustrate Marilyn’s challenges of being a celebrity behind having a glamorous life. Furthermore, Warhol made a unique depiction of Marilyn by utilizing the eye-catching colors pink and yellow. These colors ultimately convey Marilyn Monroe’s iconic styles and celebrity glamour. Warhol’s way of distributing elements in his art to portray iconic features of Marilyn successfully tributed and made her more popular in death.

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