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Current time:0:00Total duration:3:15

Video transcript

fourth floor of the Museum of Modern Art and the room devoted to pop art and we're looking at a really great painting it's actually a really large painting and it's not really a painting entirely it's called gold Marilyn as in Marilyn Monroe it's from 1962 and it's not only that it's big but it feels expansive because most of the cannabis is covered with this kind of slightly metallic bronze ish gold paint Marilyn's head started floating in a rectangle in the center interesting I mean really sort of weirdly isolated within the plane of the gold but look at Marilyn's head first of all this is interesting because it it was from if I remember correctly the last photo session that she vetted and she sort of approved and if you look at it it's actually terribly printed it's not painted at all no at the print yeah from a newspaper right from a photograph from a newspaper that's been blown up printed in black and then really garishly over printed with bad registration with these horrible colors that came right out of Dick Tracy comic strips this yellow on top of the black for the hair right in the red for the lipstick and the green eyeshadow oh god this turquoise it's just awful as well and then really the most were glamorously garish the red of the lips right over the black and this was right after her suicide so this is very powerful stuff so this is almost in Memorial and I think it's got religious overtones I think this is a kind of icon I think that the gold is functioning like the gold in a Byzantine painting and she's replaced the Virgin Mary she is in our consumer culture in our culture of glamour of Fame which was incredibly important to Warhol she is now that is our culture that is who we are and so and that's Warhol's brilliance but he's not thinking about the history of art so much as what is authentic to now in fact let's go back to the printing issue warrant well I think makes this really interesting assessment which is the painting is no longer an entirely authentic process in 1962 when we live in a world that is a world of manufacture of mass production then he steps back and he stops painting he starts baking prints which are in multiple he starts hiring people to make his prints for him and he does this in a studio which he calls the factory this has got to have been a upsetting in character people who are still looking for the craft painting and worse than that what pops main issue was turning the still life the landscape traditional history painting what was left of it all of those innocence of ancient traditions on its head and looking to popular culture I mean painting no longer the Virgin Mary but a pop icon is an incredibly powerful aggressive statement against Western culture it was leaking stained who was asked in 1980 was 1961 or 62 what was pop art and he said you know after Abstract Expressionism we could take an oil soaked rag put it on the wall and somebody would call it a work of art we were looking for something that was still despicable and he said the thing that was still really despicable was popular visual culture was the stuff of our current world culture yeah to me this opens up a whole issue about identity and the way we assumed identity this is not Marilyn in fact we don't have any access to who she actually is at all what we have here is her mask