Mari(o)lyn Diptych, Self-Portrait as Marilyn Monroe in "Marilyn Diptych" by Andy Warhol 1962 / by Mario Elias

"I don't mind living in a man's world, so long as I can be a woman in it" - Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe has been a constant and consistent demonstration of feminine beauty and power for decades. She was sexy and sultry, and the most tragic of tragic figures. Some women may relate to her, others want to emulate her, and others yet may think she is a superficial figurehead of sexism and male dominance.  

Basic bitches worldwide attribute quotations to her in their instagram posts on the daily.  I'm not sure which ones she actually said, and I am not ashamed of using one that may not be hers for this post either. Her power does not lie in what she did or who she was. The power of Marilyn Monroe lies in the ideals, attributes, and iconography people have created around her. She was not just someone when she was alive, but she has grown to even greater heights posthumously.  

Andy Warhol is another figure similar to Ms. Monroe in that he was very interested in living a life that would get him remembered. He was creating quick pieces that packed a punch. He was living fast and not afraid to die young. Andy Warhol once said in the future everyone will have their own tiny little nugget of fame. Internet culture has definitely seen this premonition come to fruition.  

warholMarilynDiptych1963



Warhol created "Marylin Diptych" in the weeks following her untimely overdose and subsequent death.  The original image was pulled by Warhol from promotional images for the 1953 film Niagra.  The actual photographer is unknown to me.   

This painting, which is actually 50 screen prints of the original image has been lauded by critics for decades for its multiplicity of meanings and its impact on popular culture. It was created as a tribute, but became a living being in itself.  I do not need to link the hundreds of variations this now canonized set-up has spawned. The huddled art hungry masses have absorbed and reduced the original down so many times, its gone far past a situation of being redundant to be almost a necessity for any artist playing around with art historical concepts.  So here's my send-up. A necessity for this project for sure.