An Analysis of Andy Warhol's Gold Marilyn Monroe (1962)

975 words 4 pages
The sixties were a time of social and political change in America, and the art world was not left untouched. Early in the decade a new movement focused on popular culture and national icons began to develop. It was aptly named Pop art. "Many critics were alarmed by Pop, uncertain whether it was embracing or parodying popular culture and fearful that it threatened the survival of both modernist art and high culture..." (Stokstad 1101) Pop artists were not the first to make cultural statements with their work, however controversial art always draws criticism and attention. One of the most well known artists of the Pop movement was Andy Warhol, a young commerial illustrator from manhattan. Warhol's use of popular icons and brands as the focus …show more content…

He not only made a statement about his subject, but about his viewer as well. Warhol points out that it was the public's obsession with her, that destroyed Monroe's mental and physical health. By making such a bold statement he forces his viewers to question the very nature of celebrity and popular culture. Warhol's strength as an artist lie not only in his skill, but in his ability to mentally engage his viewers and present aspects of American culture in a new light. An artist who worked with similar subject matter is Roy Lichtenstein. His 1964 painting Oh, Jeff...I Love You, Too...But... is related to Warhol's Gold Marilyn Monroe in its use of popular cuture to expose a societal problem. Both Warhol and Lichtenstein used other artists' work to create their own, though Warhol used photographs while Lichtenstein used comic books. Lichtenstein's piece focuses on the unrealistic "happily ever after" endings which are continually fed to the public in books and movies. "Lichtenstein reminds us that this plot is only an adolescent fiction, real-life relationships like his own marriage, then in the process of dissolving, end, as here, with the "but"." (Stokstad 1103) The differences between these two pieces are found in the techniques used to create them. Lichtenstein was also much more influenced by his own personal life, while Warhol focused on the culture by which he was surrounded. I found myself drawn to Warhol's Gold Marilyn