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TitsMcGhee's avatar

Why, in your opinion, are images of Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor so common in fine art and pop art?

Asked by TitsMcGhee (8207 points ) March 8th, 2009

And not just Andy Warhol either, or even just people imitating Andy Warhol! I was at the Armory Show, and there were a huge number of pieces featuring the two, from Warhol-type paintings and prints to Katy Grannan photos of an aging woman dressed like Monroe. What is it about them that makes them so prevalent?

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17 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Both of them had flamboyant beauty.

jtvoar16's avatar

gal said it best.
“That which is utterly beautiful will last, utterly.”

by the way, that isn’t her quote, i just made that up… I think.

SeventhSense's avatar

Marilyn represented the dichotomy of innocence and glamour. She was cute, sexy, simple and sophisticated. How can you not like her. She was a child playing dress up.

marinelife's avatar

They are icons of their eras. Archetypal woman.

Jeruba's avatar

Marilyn Monroe was truly an icon, her image evocative and symbolic on so many levels. Elizabeth Taylor was and is a great beauty and deserving of all the admiration she commands, but she doesn’t have the same transcendence and cultural resonance as MM.

desiree333's avatar

One word. Icons. Andy Warhol like marilyn Monroe I suppose.

IBERnineD's avatar

I was excited to answer this because I adore Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor. I’m even an Art History major. But I believe everyone before me has answered perfectly so I will say nothing more than they are all so right! :)

SeventhSense's avatar

IBERnineD
Love the hair..I prefer a melon cap myself

SuperMouse's avatar

I think another aspect to Marilyn Monroe is that she is such a tragic figure. She led what looked on the outside to be a charmed life, but was seemingly in constant inner-turmoil. Her death at such a young age added to her mystique and made her all that more enigmatic and fascinating.

Elizabeth Taylor also has an enigmatic quality and was one of the first starlets to do what she pleased.

SeventhSense's avatar

My above answer made more sense with my previous avatar

LostInParadise's avatar

While we are talking about Liz Taylor, whatever became of her? There was a time when the tabloids could not get enough of her. Is she ill?

Regarding MM, there is a powerfully attractive sadness about her. She is the sexually precocious young girl who can’t quite make it to womanhood, the hooker who can’t fit in among sophisticates. She is reported to have said that the person she would most like to have had sex with was Albert Einstein. How tellingly sad that is.

wundayatta's avatar

Marilyn Monroe had bipolar disorder, which probably was a cause in her sexual “acting out,” and her suicide. The disorder was untreatable at the time. I’m sure that she had an incredible energy when she was manic, and that men couldn’t get enough of her at these times, but that when she went into depressions, they would dump her, because they couldn’t stand it.

She was beautiful, but I think she was not a whole lot more beautiful than other beauties. I think what made her different, and what raised her to iconic status was that energy that she exuded. She was able to capture and project that sense of innocent sexuality that, combined with beauty, is an irresistible combination for men, straight or gay.

There are some who believe Liz Taylor was also bipolar, but there isn’t as much on the ‘net about that, so I’m not sure. I wouldn’t be surprised. She went through a number of men in her life, and if she was manic while filming, she, too, would have projected something more than her beauty would support. Again, I believe it is that energy which raises people to an iconic status. Of course, since it is driven by a mental disorder, it can kill you, too. I wonder if she is under treatment now, and that’s why she has disappeared from public view? Treatment gets rid of the manias, and, as a result, may also destroy those kind of luminescent portrayals of innocent sexual provocativeness that turned these women into stars.

Jeruba's avatar

Applauding vigorously, @daloon. Your insightful comments always shed light.

wundayatta's avatar

Thank you muchly, J

SeventhSense's avatar

@daloon
I still can’t get over the fact that you’re not a chick. I guess the ass confused me.

wundayatta's avatar

@SeventhSense—now what makes you think I’m not? Oh, and can you keep your puppy under control? They have sharp puppy teeth that I really don’t want anywhere near my crotch. And you—get your mind out of the gutter!

bunnygrl's avatar

Because true beauty is everlasting. True beauty never goes out of fashion and they were both just genuinely stunning and just timeless.

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