Light, color and vision
Color interactions: Simultaneous contrast
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Luminance and equiluminance
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    Andy Warhol's Marilyn prints


In the 1960’s Andy Warhol created several "mass-produced" images of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Jackie Onassis.

Andrew Warhola, later known as Andy Warhol, was a key figure in Pop Art, an art movement which emerged in America and elsewhere in the 1950s and came to prominence over the next two decades. In the portait of Marilyn below, use the controls below to adjust the colors.

Drawing its subject matter from popular culture and often using mass production techniques, Pop Art was initially received with little enthusiasm by many in the art world.


Listen to Andy’s comments, from 1981.

On the occasion of Marilyn Monroe’s suicide on August 1962, Warhol used this publicity shot by Gene Korman for the film Niagara made in 1953.


Warhol had a fascination with things morbid. Sometimes, however, the results were astonishingly beautiful, such as the resonating, brilliantly coloured images of Marilyn Monroe. The Marilyn canvases were early examples of Warhol’s use of screenprinting, a method the artist warmed to, recalling that:

In August ’62 I started doing silkscreens. … I wanted something stronger that gave more of an assembly line effect. With silkscreening you pick a photograph, blow it up, transfer it in glue onto silk, and then roll ink across it so the ink goes through the silk but not through the glue. That way you get the same image, slightly different each time. It was all so simple — quick and chancy. I was thrilled with it. … When Marilyn Monroe happened to die that month, I got the idea to make screens of her beautiful face — the first Marilyns.

Using photo-stencils in screenprinting meant that Warhol could use photographic images for his screenprints. The screen is prepared using a photographic process, then different colour inks are printed using a rubber squeegee.

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