In Black and Wright
Marilyn Monroe and the Hollyhock House
"Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."
Fine Art Print on Paper with 1" White Border for Easy Framing
Each print is hand-signed by the artist. The 12"x12" print contains a 10"x10" image.
Limited Edition Giclee Print on Canvas with Black Frame, 20"x20"
This special series of 50 Limited Edition Series Prints are exact replicas of the original paintings. They include a certificate of authenticity signed by the printer and the artist, and are hand-signed and numbered. The frame is black and sits 1 1/2" from the wall.
About the Painting:
The Hollyhock House, with its heavy stone foundation and concrete exterior, is perched atop the ethereally weightlessness of Marilyn Monroe. In 1919, Aline Barnsdall, an oil heiress, hired Frank Lloyd Wright to design the Hollyhock House as her residence. It is situated in the middle of Barnsdall Art Park in Los Angeles, on a piece of land that Aline donated to the city.
This is the story of two women: an icon and an heiress.
Marilyn Monroe is pictured here against a royal background. She is confident, beautiful and wise. I wanted the real Marilyn: strong, yet still maintaining the vulnerability that made her magnetic. Miss
Monroe is highlighted here by striations of royal blue and black: horizontal lines that mimic those of the Prairie School Style Architecture that Frank Lloyd Wright was known for. The name In Black And Wright is a testament to beauty and simplicity.
As this series of paintings demonstrates, I have a love for old Hollywood but from the beginning, I vowed I would never paint Marilyn. Everyone else had. Her image is over-saturated and I questioned if I could do her justice. But truthfully, I just wasn’t ready to paint her.
The intention behind pairing a beautiful actress with this building’s stone-cold exterior was to juxtapose them. And only Marilyn could pull it off. So I was stuck. I had to paint her. Fortunately, once I faced that reality, my resolve felt so liberating that she just poured out onto the canvas.
I think people innately feel protective of Marilyn. She was a hauntingly vulnerable beauty and I could almost hear her asking me to paint her looking smart, strong and wise. “Please, don’t paint Marilyn,” I could hear her say in a whisper, “Paint me.” I suppose, in a way, it was my own voice I was hearing. The end result surprised me. Hollyhock had become light, soft and feminine in its features. Only Monroe could have pulled this off.
Aline Barnsdall was the antithesis of Marilyn. Born to a wealthy oil family, she travelled extensively, developed interests in feminism and other radical causes and was a single mom, which was scandalous for the time. Not particularly beautiful, she was a strong, independent woman and insisted she would raise her daughter by herself.
Researching the connection between these two women took me on quite an introspective journey. I started with the selfish notion that if I painted houses from places I dreamt about, that somehow the universe would get me there.
As I write this and the words come pouring out onto paper, it is not lost on me that this is more than an anecdotal tale. The end of my journey did not find me in Hollywood. Instead I found a piece of myself on the canvas - something that connected me to both of these women. Perhaps that thing is strength and perhaps this is a tale of three women, an heiress an icon and a painter- three strong, creative and independent women who left a little trail of footprints.
– Karen Robb
About Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962)
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, model, and singer. She became one of the most popular sex symbols of the 1950s and early 1960s and was emblematic of the era's changing attitudes towards sexuality. Her films included The Seven Year Itch, Bus Stop, Some Like it Hot, and Breakfast at Tiffany's.
"I don't mind living in a man's world as long as I can be a woman in it."
Prints on Paper
Your fine art print is a Magiclee Verona 250hd smooth cotton fine art print created here in Winnipeg by my professional printer to ensure the closest fidelity to the original. Each print will be hand signed by me, the artist.
Prints on fine art paper include a white border for easy framing, which can also act as a mat. Therefore, your image will be smaller than its total paper size. Border sizes are stated and shown in the photo of each listing.
- Ex: A 12"x12" print contains a 10"x10" image
Giclee Prints on Canvas with Black Frame, Limited Edition
- The Special Series of 50 Limited Edition Prints are exact replicas of the original paintings.
- Limited Edition Canvas Prints include a certificate of authenticity signed by the printer and the artist.
- These prints are also signed and numbered on the back of each canvas by the artist.
- Frames are black and sit 1 1/2" from the wall.
I currently ship within Canada and the Continental United States. Each print is hand packed by me to ensure its safe arrival. Please understand that I am a single artist, working full time, and printing each painting to order, so expect up to three weeks for arrival.
I provide budget-friendly Domestic shipping within Canada, however Canada Post does not provide a tracking number for this method. You will receive a notification from my store when your painting has been shipped.
If you live in the United States, Canada Post does provide a tracking number that will be included in your shipping notification.
If you do not receive an email stating that your painting has shipped within two weeks, please contact me.
Free pickup in Winnipeg. Please contact me for information.
Returns and Exchanges
All prints are made to order and signed by me. Unfortunately, I cannot provide returns or exchanges.
Copyright and Reposting
I retain all intellectual property rights to my artwork, including commissions, and artwork cannot be reproduced or used for profit without my consent. Prints may be displayed for personal or decorative public use. Please contact me for more information about using my artwork in other contexts, such as commercial advertising or promotional use.
If you wish to share or repost my work on social media, such as Instagram, you must credit me and link your post to my profie, @artbykarenrobb. Thank you.