Just before Christmas we have visited an Andy Warhol / Basquiat exhibition in Vienna with our friends. One of the works there was a picture of four Marilyns, which my friend liked and challenged me to do it for her. You can find some information about the exhibition and the picture I am talking about here.
I had a close look at the picture and, not knowing what was ahead of me – and definitely not knowing then what technique Warhol used – I decided to do it.
As you can see on the original (just in case, here it is below), the image consists of four exactly the same Marilyn faces, black, over some colour background. I needed a stencil which would allow me to do that and I found one on the internet of the same face (credit on the image below):
This was in A4 format, so it was too small for my painting, which I wanted to have in 60 x 80 cm (original is 92 x 71 cm). I needed to enlarge it, hence the lines and numbers on the stencil print out. I enlarged the squares keeping the proportions and copied (using each square as a guide) this image onto a reasonably thick cardboard. After that I had to cut out the parts which were to be black – which was quite a lot. Here is what came out as a result:
All the white areas would remain not painted, all the areas in between were to be black. Notice stripes of paper holding some of the areas together – I had to add them, otherwise I would end up with a puzzle…
For the background, I used white framed canvas in size – one of the reasons why I went with that size is that I could buy it ready-made, this was the closest to original – and painted it over with some patterns. I wanted to use similar colours, but I did not want to have an exact copy. I also did not use my stencil to check how the colours would pan out, although I did divide my canvas into 4 equal rectangular areas to see where the stencil would go. Here is what came out as my base for the painting: