Dad’s Hidden Marilyns, 10”x10”, mixed media, collage on board
A few years ago, I was helping my mom sort through 35 years of stuff in the attic. There were a few boxes that had been left unpacked, and probably unopened, since we moved into the house back in the 1970s. Among the boxes was one full of magazines saved by my dad since the 1960s. No, this is not the predictable Playboys-in-the-attic trope. I think that only happens in the movies. What I did find was a stack of a magazine called Avant Garde. The one issue revealed Marilyn Monroe images in vibrant, neon colors. Visions of Warhol danced in my head for a brief moment. But what I had was an issue with manipulated photos by the photographer Bert Stern.
On the off chance these were highly collectable (i.e., valuable) I did some online research. You can readily find back issues that are affordable as well as expensively priced ones by delusional eBay sellers. On etsy someone has taken to disassembling copies of the magazine and selling the individual pages as prints – well, good for them.
Confident that this tattered old magazine was neither rare nor particularly valuable, you know what happens. As I have spent the better part of 2017 exploring the relationship between color and memory, these glowing pages from the 1960s were exactly what I was looking for collage material to capture that day-glo era.