Review of the art and the artist pauline boty by heidi askey

7 min läsning

Pop Art made its way from the US to the UK in the 1950s, where artists altered its practice and interpretation to create something quite different. American Pop Art strived to be a recognisable representation of the world at surface level, moving away from the great significance placed on meaning and nuance of the Abstract Expressionist era. UK Pop Art then restored a sense of deeper meaning, adding a satirical voice that looked further into the effect of such popular, recognisable imagery. US Pop Art embodied glamour, youth and modernity, and UK Pop Art combined these aspects with a motif of critique.

Pop Art began in the UK with the formation of The Independent Group, known as IG. Its members consisted of artists and critics with a particular interest in Pop Art, whose discussions lead to many of the ideas seen in the UK movement’s pieces. The group held exhibitions that aided in the distribution of these ideas to other artists.

Pauline Boty was a critical figure in UK Pop Art. Inspirations from the US movement can certainly be recognised in her pieces, but there is an interesting aspect of edge and spirit to them. This can be seen in her depiction of Marilyn Monroe, which acts as a parody of Andy Warhol’s renowned piece Marilyn Diptych. Boty was known for the feminist undertones and keen awareness of gender roles in her pieces, and this piece is no different. Warhol’s work shows Monroe at her most recognisable her face, highlighting her sultry eyes and mysterious, almost emotionless smile. Her hair and makeup is bold and classic, just as she appeared in her films. Rather than a person, she is a representation of movie-star beauty and Hollywood; an image that encapsulates the feeling of blockbuster films, extreme popularity and objectification. She appears acutely aware of the camera, and respectively the unfathomably large audience that will view the image, so poses in a way that is anticipated and synthetically perfect.Boty’s piece is strikingly different to this depiction. Monroe, although still recognisable, is much less so. Her hair is styled in a way less seen in media, and her makeup is more subtle. Her pose is more candid and her smile genuine and natural there is a feeling of movement to her that brings back a sense of life.

Unlike posing for a large audience, her stance is more reminiscent of a picture taken with friends or family. Boty shows a more intimate side of Monroe, the side that is

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