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Aan Arif
Marilyn Monroe #3

Oil on Canvas
150 x 130cm


Marilyn Monroe is undoubtedly one of the most famous popular icons of the 20th century and she is a familiar sight to millions of people worldwide. Aan Arif explores the myth of popular culture through his projection of an inchoate, barely formed image - the repeated streaks across her face bring about a distortion that can be read both literally and figuratively. Despite her prolonged fame, the circumstances surrounding Monroe’s life and death remain a mystery to many of us today. As Julian Barnes eloquently elucidates, "history is where the inadequacies of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.” The blurriness of the painting suggests that truth is not always evident and the only certainty is the passage of time.

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  • +Artist Bio

    Born on 21 April 1973, Aan Arif studied at the Senior High School of Fine Arts in Yogyakarta and the Indonesian Institute of Art Yogyakarta. He uses a technique that involves wiping brushstrokes on textured surfaces to produce slick effects and motion blurs, combining realism and expressionism. Choosing to paint prominent figures like Marilyn Monroe, Pippa Middleton and Sukarno as subjects, he addresses how these individuals are caught between private and public space - the complicated relationship that underpins individual lives and a public image or facade. He tries to uncover whether the truth is really as popular media presents it.  Read More

  • +Publications

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