The Lightbox Director, Marilyn Scott, recently took part in an 'In Conversation' luncthime talk with Curator of the exhibition 'Warhol and the World of Pop Art' Michael Regan. In the talk they discussed how Pop Art had influenced culture and in many ways, still does. In this week's blog, Marilyn tells us about chatting with Michael and gives us an insight into her own favourite Pop Art pieces.
I am really enjoying the ‘Warhol and the World of Pop Art’ exhibition, whenever I go into the exhibition people are very positive, they are really enjoying the fun, colourful nature of the show and learning a lot about Warhol they didn’t know before, for example that he designed amazing textiles, some of which are on show.
I recently took part in an In Conversation with Michael Regan our Curator for the show. Michael explained how he put the show together and how he felt Pop Art was still influencing design, fashion and art today. He talked a lot about Warhol and his influence and how his skills as a self-publicist meant that he got noticed when still a graphic designer and built his own brand so cleverly.
I asked Michael about his favourite Pop Art work of all time but didn’t get a chance to nominate my own. I am very attracted to the work by Pauline Boty ‘Colour Her Gone’ which Michael showed on screen. Boty was the only woman artist in the British Pop Art movement and because she tragically died so young, she is relatively unknown. This lovely work was painted by Boty when she was only 24. The title is intriguing and could have been taken from a line in a 1963 released record by Perry Como and Dusty Springfield ‘Colouring Book’ – thanks to the member of the audience who pointed this out! It also of course reflects the fact that when this work was painted it’s subject – Marilyn Monroe had just died.
Boty was herself very much in the public gaze. A famous beauty, known to her fellow students as the ‘Wimbledon Bardot’ and lusted after by David Frost, Peter Blake and many others, she was a dancer on the music show ‘Ready Steady Go!’, and even appeared as one of Alfie’s girlfriends in the 1966 film starring Michael Caine. She is said to be the inspiration for Julie Christie’s role in ‘Darling’. She made several paintings of Marilyn Monroe, each challenging the conventions of glamour imagery: In ‘Colour Her Gone’, we see a relaxed-looking woman in a loose-fitting blue top.
There are so many great works in the show and I certainly covet the paper furniture, one of our volunteers confided to me the other day that she had a chair exactly like the wonderful orange one in the centre of the furniture display but sadly couldn’t remember what happened to it- along with her Biba dresses!
The exhibition 'Warhol and the World of Pop Art' is on display in our Main Gallery until Sunday 1 November. Entrance with a £5 Annual Pass, under 18s free.
Find out more about the 'Warhol and the World of Pop Art' exhibition.
Image credits: Exhibition images of ‘Warhol and the World of Pop Art’ © The Lightbox