June 1 would have been Marilyn Monroe's 96th birthday, and in the 60 years since her untimely passing she continues to epitomize the twin peaks of Hollywood glamor and tragedy.
Monroe's appeal was on record-breaking display last month when Andy Warhol’s 1964 silk-screen “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” fetched $195 million at a Christie’s New York auction on Monday, marking the highest such amount paid for both an American and a 20th-century artwork.
For collectors who don't have nine-digit sums to drop on artwork, there is no shortage of remarkable Monroe-inspired art that can be obtained.
Here are five works from notable artists who have recreated the Monroe mystique with striking originality.
The Neon Goddess: The mononymous painter Voltori has deconstructed the artificial Hollywood imagery of the iconic star with bold hues that suggest a mix of old-school neon signage with film noir shadowplay. The result is an abstract consideration of Monroe's appeal as a harsh but brilliant flash of bright light against a dark reality, resulting in a work of the unreal eroticism manufactured by the Hollywood machinery. Available through AtelierMovart.com.
The Inked Goddess: Artist Ed Capeau reimagines Monroe's fine and pale features as the canvas for an elaborate display of tattoo art. The resulting work transitions Monroe from the movies into a darker fantasy realm, with black and crimson tattoo illustrations that recall the vibrant folk art of Mexico's Day of the Dead celebrations. Avaialble through Wayfair W.
The Mixed Media Goddess: French artist Daniel Gastaud incorporates feathers and combines artists genres in his work, and his celebration of Monroe provides a bittersweet tribute to the lost star. In his vision, Monroe is crowned with a floral tiara bursting with color, but the star's image is a hazy monochrome. Is this the artistic equivalent of laying flowers in praise of those no longer here, or is Monroe the time-distant force that still generates vibrancy and beauty? Avaialble through Eden Gallery.
The Star-Spangled Goddess: Chinese-born artist Chengju Li captures Monroe as the essence of Americana, with the billowing of her dress from "The Seven Year Itch" seemingly powered the waving of the U.S. flag. Monroe's pre-stardom nude calendar art can be seen in the work, a reminder of the nation's love-hate relation with clothing-free entertainment. Available through Wayfair.
The Footwear Goddess: Not every artwork can be found framed on a wall, as artist Edgy Wolf affirms in this designer footwear featuring the abstract art presentation of Monroe. This hand-painted and heat-pressed creation offers a unique double purpose as either a work of display art or something for covering your feet when you hit the gallery scene. Available through Etsy ETSY.
Photo: Voltori's "Marilyn Monroe," courtesy of AtelierMovart.com
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