Marilyn Monroe died after an overdose of sleeping pills in August 1962. In the months that followed, Warhol made more than twenty silkscreen paintings of her, based on a publicity still from the 1953 film Niagara. By carefully cropping the photograph and emphasising her lips, eyes and hair, Warhol creates not so much a likeness as a symbol of the star, focusing on the features that represented Marilyn in the public imagination. The multiple versions reflect the wide dissemination of her image through the mass media, both in colour and black and white. Warhol once commented: ‘Repetition adds up to reputation’.
Amongst other stars gathered in this section are Jackie Kennedy, Elvis, the Statue of Liberty, and the Mona Lisa.