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Pop artists borrowed from popular culture, challenging notions of originality and what it means to be an artist.

Andy Warhol, "Marilyn Monroe," 1964

Richard Pettibone
(American, born 1938)

1968. Silkscreen ink on canvas, 5 1/4 x 5 1/4" (13.3 x 13.3 cm)

Andy Warhol, “Marilyn Monroe,” 1964 is a silkscreen in the same style as a Warhol’s paintings of Monroe. Pettibone began with a reproduction of one of Warhol’s many silkscreened portraits of the star, scaled it down, and then silkscreened his own version. Richard Pettibone’s work further blurs the boundary between original and copy, or replica. Since Pettibone’s “original” comes from a photograph of Warhol’s painting, which itself was a silkscreen of a photograph of the actress, his silkscreen has a  degenerated quality to it.

Warhol is not the only artist from whom painter and sculptor Richard Pettibone has appropriated  images and artistic strategies. Pettibone subverts the traditional notion of artists as creators of original works of art by borrowing from the works of well-known artists and replicating them at a smaller scale.

An image, especially a positive print, recorded by exposing a photosensitive surface to light, especially in a camera.

One who applies paint to canvas, wood, paper, or another support to produce a picture.

A work of art made from paint applied to canvas, wood, paper, or another support (noun).

A distinctive or characteristic manner of expression.

A stencil-based printmaking technique in which the first step is to stretch and attach a woven fabric (originally made of silk, but now more commonly of synthetic material) tightly over a wooden frame to create a screen. Areas of the screen that are not part of the image are blocked out with a variety of stencil-based methods. A squeegee is then used to press ink through the unblocked areas of the screen, directly onto paper. Screenprints typically feature bold, hard-edged areas of flat, unmodulated color. Also known as silkscreen and serigraphy.

The ratio between the size of an object and its model or representation, as in the scale of a map to the actual geography it represents.

A copy or reproduction.

A representation of a particular individual, usually intended to capture their likeness or personality.

As an artistic strategy, the intentional borrowing, copying, and alteration of preexisting images, objects, and ideas.

Pettibone’s Predecessor
Marcel Duchamp was an artist who designated everyday objects as art, privileging the idea over aesthetics or creation by an artist. He called these objects—from a shovel to a urinal to a bicycle wheel affixed to a stool—”Readymades.” Similarly, Richard Pettibone finds inspiration for his own artistic exploration in other, existing works of art. Aside from his fascination with Warhol, Pettibone has replicated works by other modern artists, including Constantin Brancusi, Frank Stella, and Roy Lichtenstein.