Shot Marilyns

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The Shot Marilyns is a work of art produced in 1964 by Andy Warhol. It consists of four canvases, each a square measuring 40 inches and each consisting of a painting of Marilyn Monroe, each shot through in the forehead by a single bullet.

Warhol actually painted five colored Marilyns in 1964 with different colored backgrounds: red, orange, light blue, sage blue, and turquoise. He stored them at The Factory, his studio on East 47th Street in Manhattan. Dorothy Podber (1932–2008), a friend of Factory photographer Billy Name, saw the recently completed paintings stacked against one another at the studio and asked Warhol if she could shoot them. Believing that she meant she wanted to photograph the paintings, Warhol agreed.[1] Podber doffed her pair of black gloves, withdrew a small revolver from her purse, and fired a shot into the stack of four "Marilyn" paintings, which became known as The Shot Marilyns. The fifth painting with the turquoise background was not in the stack.

Billy Name, in the Ray Johnson documentary How to Draw a Bunny, describes this event as a "performance piece" by Podber. After she had shot the Marilyns and left, Andy Warhol purportedly asked Billy Name to please ask Dorothy not to do that again.[2] Podber was, however, henceforth barred from The Factory for life.[1]


  1. ^ a b Dorothy Podber: 'Witch' who shot Warhol's Marilyns, Charles Darwent. 13 March 2008.
  2. ^ Walter, John W. (dir). How to Draw a Bunny, 2002
  • Livingstone, Marco (ed.), Pop Art: An International Perspective, The Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1991, ISBN 0-8478-1475-0
  • Stokstad, Marilyn, Art History, 1995, Prentice Hall, Inc., and Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, ISBN 0-8109-1960-5
  • Vogel, Carol (1998). The New York Times: INSIDE ART; Perhaps Shot, Perhaps Not . Retrieved January 4, 2008.
  • Warhol, Andy and Pat Hackett, Popism: The Warhol Sixties, Harcourt Books, 1980, ISBN 0-15-672960-1
  • Watson, Steven, Factory Made: Warhol and the Sixties, Pantheon Books, 2003.

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