The essay compares Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych with Yasumasa Morimura’s Self-Portrait. Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych is an acrylic on canvas painted in 1962. This painting is Pop Art. Warhol was fascinated by Monroe’s cult of personality and death…
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The essay "Andy Warhol and Yasumasa Morimura" discusses Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych and Yasumasa Morimura’s Self-Portrait (Actress)/ White Marilyn. Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych and Yasumasa Morimura’s Self-Portrait (Actress)/ White Marilyn depict the cult infatuation with Marilyn Monroe. This infatuation goes deeper than Monroe’s physical beauty. Warhol’s Marilyn Diptych and Morimura’s Self-Portrait (Actress)/ White Marilyn have the same subject; Marilyn Monroe. The works were done thirty-four years apart, Marilyn Diptych in 1962 and Self-Portrait (Actress)/ White Marilyn in 1996. Yet both have the same theme. Both are about Marilyn Monroe, but not about her as a whole person. The person portrayed in Warhol’s piece is “more than twenty silkscreen paintings of her, all based on the same publicity photograph from the 1953 film Niagara” (Tate Collection). Hollywood publicity photographs are airbrushed. They wanted to present the best makeup and hairstyle possible on Monroe. This was not the real Monroe. She did not always look perfect, because like everyone else, Monroe was human. Similarly Morimura’s photograph of three figures did not portray the real Monroe. His figures are posed like Monroe in The Seven Year Itch, where her white dress is following up at an air vent. This is once more a movie posed. Monroe had wardrobe, makeup, lighting, and other Hollywood magic. So the Monroe both artists wanted to capture were not realistic, but based on her Hollywood image.
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