If there’s one face that seems to stand the test of time, never fading or losing its magic, it is that of the Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe. Long after Andy Warhol iconised her in his 1962 silkscreen paintings, her visage appears in contemporary art collections around the world – including our own!
As one of the last living Pop Art pioneers, James Francis Gill expertly captures the American Dream with world renowned actress Marilyn Monroe in his collection, The Return Of James Francis Gill. Merging iconography with startling colour, he is inspired by magazines like Time, Life and National Geographic.
In 2014, diamond dust artist Simon collaborated with Twentieth Century Fox for Fox Presents the Films of Marilyn: a reinvented series of some of the most iconic images of the star from her time with the film studio. Included are photography stills, test shots and outtakes from Fox’s coveted archives.
Simon says: “This is the closest I will ever be able to get to painting Marilyn for real. And that is an absolute highlight of my career.”
For his provocative depiction of Marilyn Monroe, Hamish explored social narcissism, as exemplified by the selfie – which Hamish argues could be seen as “a modern expression of a modern age”. His painting symbolises an underlying commentary on the overuse of her iconic image, and his take on ‘smartphone mania’.
Hamish adds: “It’s a respectful and celebratory image that takes Marilyn right to the centre of contemporary culture.”
As one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s, the model and singer delighted fans with films like The Seven Year Itch and Bus Stop. For his newest collection, A Time For Reflection: The Savoy Suite, Stuart McAlpine Miller captured her in all her enigmatic glory.
He adds: “I tried to show her looking vulnerable by using a fresh-faced image of her in an almost uncomfortable pose. The idea was to convey the complexity of her character through the composition of the painting.”
A pioneer for female photojournalists, Eve Arnold took up photography in New York City in 1946 and went on to become one of the world's most revered photographers for her snapshots of Hollywood’s rich and famous – especially Marilyn Monroe.
Before her death in 2012, she explained: “It became a bond between us…Marilyn was very important in my career. I think I was helpful in hers.”
Edward's collection reaches beyond the camera lens and into the very essence of the 20th century's most enigmatic film icon. A pioneer in the collection of Hollywood photography, Edward built his extensive collection over five decades.
The actress’s career is captured in snapshots that range from her early days in 1948 to her final photo shoot in 1962, with the body of work featuring such trusted artists as Laszlo Willinger, Andre de Dienes, Kashio Aoki and George Barris.
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© Copyright Washington Green Retail Limited trading as Castle Fine Art. First published 2012, last updated 2023. Washington Green Retail Limited acts as a credit broker and offers credit products from Secure Trust Bank PLC trading as V12 Retail Finance.
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