The Great American Blonde

Elena Soboleva
Dec 17, 2012 7:00AM

No other hair color has inspired as much recent art history as 'the Blonde'. A mythical construct of plasticized post-war femininity, with pouty lips and sunflower yellow hair, this creature is synonymous with Pop Art.  The icon originated through Warhol's countless Marilyn Monroe paintings, Wesselmann's nudes and Lichtenstein's derivation from popular romance comics of the time. 

With a mournful distant glance and often in a state of undress, the subject became a genre of contemporary sorts that continues to still inspire the attention and scrutiny of artists such as Richard Phillips, Cindy Sherman and Banksy.  Originally a reflection of society, now a parody of it, the Blonde has endured an unequal share of 'the gaze' thrown her way.  But don't let her fool you - the looks she casts now convey quite a different message. The golden locks are a subversion of the past, not a proponent of it.

Elena Soboleva