This 1967 screenprint portrait of Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
Although her film career spanned just fifteen years - from 1947 to 1962 Marilyn Monroe remains deeply embedded in the American psyche as a perennially alluring sex symbol. Emerging from an unhappy childhood spent in foster homes and an orphanage, Monroe worked as a pin-up model in her teens and· had developed into a gifted comic actor by her midtwenties. Both on and off the screen, she tempered her electrifying sex appeal with a tragic air of vulnerability that became indelible following her sudden death from a drug overdose at the age of thirty-six. Andy Warhol's fascination with celebrity drew him to Monroe, whom he portrayed in a series of screenprint portfolios. He based the ten prints in his “Marilyn” series on an overexposed publicity still from Monroe's 1953 film Niagara, which he overprinted with successive screens of visually dissonant colors, transforming the familiar face into an abstract mask. -- National Portrait Gallery