The Marilyn Monroe complete portfolio includes nine screenprints that make up one of Andy Warhol’s most recognized portfolios. Known for his fascination of the glitz and glamour that fame offers, Warhol used film star Marilyn Monroe as one of his earliest muses. The image of Monroe that Warhol used is based off of a publicity shot taken by Gene Corman for her 1953 film Niagara.
The decision to use the publicity photograph as the basis of his series sparked controversy about the extent to which an artist can appropriate an image while both maintaining artistic integrity and avoiding issues of copyright. Warhol does this in many of his pieces, borrowing influences from famous photographs, while celebrating them in a parodic manner.
As his inspiration for his Marilyn Monroe complete portfolio, Warhol recognized her fame as an actress and was interested in how her fame grew exponentially after her tragic death in August 1962. By creating these portraits of Monroe, Warhol immortalized the actress through his art, and it has been said that Warhol created an icon out of an icon. The Marilyn Monroe (Marilyn) complete portfolio was printed in 1967 by Aetna Silkscreen Products, Inc., New York. The portfolio includes ten screenprints on paper: FS II.22 through FS II.31.