Having garnered relatively little critical acclaim during her short lifetime, Pauline Boty has lately come to be celebrated as one the founders of British Pop Art and as a key British artist.

Working alongside friends and contemporaries like Peter Blake, Derek Boshier and Peter Phillips, Boty developed a body of work centred on her celebrity, musical and political heroes such as film stars of the contemporary French ‘Nouveau Realism’ or older Hollywood films that captured her interest. This work depicts Marilyn Monroe, who fascinated Boty both as an actress and a sex symbol. She is depicted centrally in a relaxed pose wearing a plain baby blue top. The work is unusual in showing Monroe in casual clothes, contrasting in this respect with contemporary works by Peter Hamilton or Andy Warhol, which tended to reproduce far more overtly sexualised images of the star. As such, the work serves, to an extent, to subvert the male gaze.


Private collection 2000, James Mayor 2010.

Wolverhampton Art Gallery

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