screenprint ink and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, Framed - h:210.19 w:573.15 d:6.35 cm (h:82 3/4 w:225 5/8 d:2 1/2 inches)
Unframed - h:205.70 w:567.70 cm (h:80 15/16 w:223 1/2 inches). Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund, and Anonymous Gift 1997.246
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Andy Warhol was well known in the 1960s for his works appropriated from advertisements and popular culture icons. Marilyn x 100 is the largest of Warhol’s many renderings of Marilyn Monroe, prompted by her suicide in 1962. Based on publicity photos, the painting has a strong visual duality. Astringent colors painted over the 50 silk-screened images on the left oppose the 50 black and white portraits that recall newspaper images of the actress. Some of the images are printed off-register, others are smudged or faded. Each print of Monroe’s face is flawed, and collectively they refer to the synthetic façade of celebrity that is repeatedly mass-produced and consumed. Warhol explored Monroe’s face as a sacred image-visibly damaged and deteriorated, yet celebrated as a cultural icon.