Do people know the real you? Do the people in your life love you for who you truly are or for the image they have of you? Perhaps you love them for the image they have created of you.
We create images of people in our life and most of the time we don’t know who they really are; perhaps they hide their true self; perhaps we are happier not knowing who they really are.
We do this constantly with celebrities and particularly actors and actresses. We want to believe that this person off the screen is the same person we saw on the screen. We want them to be a particular way; we want them to live up to our image of them and we never want them to age or change!
We believe we actually know them and that we even have a relationship with them.
This is particularly true with Marilyn Monroe – the blonde bombshell of the 1950s who later became an icon playing the blonde stereotype – dumb, naïve, sexually available and artificial. Her star image was created for the male gaze.
We wanted her to be a certain way and we wanted her to remain the same.
In her autobiography, co written with Ben Hecht and released a decade after her death, she reveals the way people, particularly men fell in love with the image they created for her:
“I’ve never fooled anyone. I’ve let men sometimes fool themselves. Men sometimes didn’t bother to find out who and what I was. Instead they would invent a character for me. I wouldn’t argue with them. They were obviously loving somebody I wasn’t.”
My series “Famous Tweets In History” explores and highlights the timelessness of meaningful words by famous people. Some of those people, such as Marilyn Monroe impacted the world at time when the words were written, spoken or televised but not able to be Tweeted.
The soundbites of yesterday are the Tweets of today, and vice-versa.
The written and spoken quotes of authors, poets, celebrities, politicians, scientists and philosophers of yesterday are the Tweets of today.
What might have occurred if Twitter existed in 1962 when Marilyn was writing her book and revealing her pain and true story? Who would have been her followers?
In keeping with my Famous Tweets series and Andy Warhol’s pop art interpretation and stylization of celebrities and other famous people who impacted the world, I chose bright, spontaneous, expressive, neon colors representing the flashy yet shallow way we see the world and celebrities, our obsession with fame, and the flashy and shallow way they are often represented or sold to the public.
Unlike Warhol who usually painted or silk-screened his subjects and flattened the eyes, I wanted to highlight the eyes and reveal more of the emotion of each subject by painting each one with a style that matches their personality or character.
I also neutralized the boundaries of time while also highlighting the people that could have been Marilyn’s Followers (some of them if they had been alive such as Donald Trump who had various affairs, Grace Jones another sexual icon or Dame Edna Everage – a man who created an image of an exaggerated, flamboyant and sexual woman designed to entertain the masses.)
This piece, “MARILYN: THEY LOVED SOMEBODY I WASN’T”, captures a historic moment while blurring the lines of time and reinforcing the way we love the images we create of others and yet often detest the false images people create of us!
Other creations in Patrick Wanis’ “Famous Tweets In History Series”:
- “Jenna Ryan – I’m Not Going To Jail”, 2021
- “Dave Chappelle – Gender Is A Fact”, 2021
- “Britney – I Just Want My Life Back!”, 2021
- “Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Women Belong Where Decisions Are Made!”,2021
- “Jesus – The Two Commandments”, 2021
- “Eastwood – Dirty Harry: I Have A Firm Policy On Gun Control”, 2021
- “Eastwood – Dirty Harry: Nothing Wrong With Shooting”, 2021
- “Eastwood – Dirty Harry: You’ve Got To Ask Yourself One Question”, 2021
- “Eastwood – Gran Torino: Somebody You Shouldn’t Have F*cked With”, 2021
- “Eastwood – Gran Torino: I Shoot You And I Sleep Like A Baby”, 2021
- “Eastwood – Fistful Of Dollars: Apologize To My Mule”, 2021
- “Trump: Remember This Day Forever! – Patriots and Fascists” Diptych, 2021
- “Trump: Sorry Losers and Haters – Kiss Goodbye”, 2021
- “Biden: Children Need A Role Model”, 2021
- “Dog – Your Best Friend: Where Is The Love?”, 2021
- “Clinton: I Never Lied”, 2020
- “Marilyn: They Loved Somebody I Wasn’t”, 2020
- “Einstein: Human Stupidity Is Infinite”, 2020
- “Trump: My Words Are Art”, 2019