James Rosenquist (born November 29, 1933) is among my favorite living American artists. Rosenquist’s large-scale paintings reflect the flat, uniform, and graphic style of the commercial billboards he made while working as a sign painter. Later, as a visual artist, Rosenquist drew inspiration from advertising and mass media. Many of his works are based on found images from magazines, collaged together and reproduced at a large scale, powerfully juxtaposing people, objects, visual symbols, visual texture and text to create new and sometimes cryptic meanings.
Rosenquist painted the above work, Marilyn Monroe, I (Oil and Spray Enamel on Canvas) in 1962. Gripped by the suicide of the screen icon and sex symbol, he created a stylized, fragmented, and inverted portrait of Monroe interwoven and superimposed with disjointed parts of Marilyn’s name, image, and the trademark script of the Coca-Cola logo. By fragmenting Monroe’s image and combining her with another popular product, Rosenquist comments on how the late actress’s life and career had been co-opted and consumed by her superstar status (Source).
Marilyn Monroe, I resides in the permanent collection of NYC’s Museum of Modern Art.