Pauline Boty and Pop Art is the main articles in the latest issue of painters TUBES magazine. Now published on the Readly platform (Sweden and the UK). TUBES is a 60 page dedicated painting magazine for the very best in historical and contemporary art. This is issue also publishes the critical essay on Social Media by the TUBES resident critic Spike. Below is Front and Back Cover of the new issue which shows the painting by ©Peter Blake Butterflies + Man + Tokyo.
front and back cover of the latest issue of painters TUBES
Extract from the full essay on Pauline Boty by Heidi Askey…
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, for instance Pauline Boty. The artist can 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 Marylin 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 – a face on shot, 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 still public image, but also human. When a person of high celebrity such as Monroe is shown in a way that is recognisable, that has been seen countless times by countless amount of people, it is easy for her to be stripped of her human tendencies; her feelings or her wants for example. Boty restores a sense of normality to Monroe with this piece. Flowers curl around her head, and she is framed by the grey, green and pink waves at each side of her face. This adds a dreamlike feel, like we are seeing Monroe’s mind along with her image. The colours show that she has light and darkness to her life, just as any other person. They are not typical Pop Art colours – they are subtle and muted, showing the ordinary and mundane side to a life of celebrity.