Bob Gonzalez's Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe, John Everett Millais' Trust Me and William Powell Frith's For Better of For Worse

Bob Gonzalez's Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe, John Everett Millais' Trust Me and William Powell Frith's For Better of For Worse

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Bob Gonzalez's Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe, John Everett Millais' Trust Me and William Powell Frith's For Better of For Worse

Art may be considered the reflection of one's emotions or an outlet of one’s creative thought. A person can display art, not only through music or dance, but also through the creativity of a play or drama. Bob Gonzalez's Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe is a great example of creatively organizing the inner thoughts of Monroe through the theatre. He went past Monroe's glamorous facade and showed the "behind the scenes" lifestyle. In addition to dramas and plays, art may also be expressed on the canvas. John Everett Millais (1829- 1896), president of Royal Academy, did well in demonstrating his creativity with oil paints. One of his recognized works is Trust Me. Being named the most illustrious member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Millais is a well-known Victorian Artist. William Powell Frith, too, was a renowned Victorian artist. For Better of For Worse was an oil painting with a double meaning. First, one could refer the title to the marriage vows. But as one further analyzes the piece, one notices that For Better or For Worse can also refer to the gap between the upper and lower classes. All in all, the artists in each of these cases had a story to tell using certain tools to show emotion.

William Powell Frith (1819- 1909), like many before him, used the tricks of the trade to simulate a certain feel in For Better or For Worse. Wardrobe and the compositional unity are tools he used to make this painting tell its story and setting. Frith, first, chose a wardrobe worthy of the Victorian Era. All the men were dressed in classic suits, either black or navy blue with a white shirt. The women, too, were covered in the time-conventional, puffy dresses. But the women’s dresses came in assorted colors, unlike the men. Hence, the wardrobe matched the aristocratic, social norm of the time. A model of the lower class’ wardrobe matched the times stereotype. For example, the father, seemingly decrepit and tired, was in a ruined suit with holes in the pants and patches on the sleeves. His wife’s dress could not compare to the wonderful dresses of the upper class women.

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"Bob Gonzalez's Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe, John Everett Millais' Trust Me and William Powell Frith's For Better of For Worse." 15 Dec 2019

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The kids, with unhappiness written on their faces, were cloaked in rags that were too large for their tiny bodies. Frith, thus, did a great job in portraying the lower class as well. The main decorative element, the rich and poor families, was organized to go along with the theme- social stratification- of the masterpiece. First, the aristocracy was placed along the right side. They extended from the stairs of the church to the balcony. And as one follows their eye-lines across the painting, one comes across the humble lower class family that is located on the lower left corner- completely separate from the rich. This, too, expresses the gap that is between the classes. On top of this separation, the actions of the snooty aristocrats display their disgust toward the meek family. Kids and women upon the stairs are chucking shoes in the direction of the humble family. Frith, therefore, projected the theme of For Better of For Worse with his use of organization of families and formal and informal dress of the poor and rich.

John Everett Millais was a Victorian artist who was renowned for his oil paintings. For the painting’s time, he expressed and emphasized the feelings of the young woman and the elder man through body positions, lighting, and wardrobe. Millais positioned their bodies to imply that a secret is being kept. The woman’s hands are behind her back and are gripping a sealed envelope. The elder man seems to be forcing himself toward her because of the forward thrusting of his torso. But there is no real sign of physical conflict; their facial expressions remain nonchalant during the confrontation. Additionally, the wardrobe gives the viewer a good idea of the time period and style. The woman is wearing a traditional red dress with ruffles, like that of the mid-1800. The old gentleman is fashioned in old blue and white British suits with the tail on the jacket. The room, too, is decorated with old 1800 English décor. To gain the viewer’s attention, Millais used chiaroscuro lighting. In a nutshell, Millais’ Trust Me tells the story of the scrutiny and deception of a young woman during mid- 1800.

In the Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe, the director, Bob Gonzalez, successfully and impressively portrayed the feelings and emotions of Monroe, not only through the use of words, but also by using certain colors and music to set a specific tone to the audience. Gonzalez illustrated a particular feeling through the tools of color. For example, Monroe was happiest at the bar as she received special attention from the men. During this scene Monroe was wearing a red dress with a matching hat and gloves. This use of warm colors represents the happiness that Monroe is feeling while being served drinks by the bartender. In contrast, Gonzalez would use cold colors to display the despair that Monroe would feel. Monroe’s ongoing conflict with her drunken father is one instant when one can associate cold colors with depression. Her father was wearing a blue, long-sleeved button up with a dark blue tie. During this same scene her father’s aggressive emotions may also be expressed with the color scheme of her dress and the belt that he used to whip around to frighten her. But Gonzalez did not use only color to show sentiment. Music was a device that Gonzalez utilized too. During a different bar scene (this time without Marilyn Monroe), fast paced music was played. The speed of the upbeat music expressed an amorous environment as the guys in the bar, including the bartender, spoke of Monroe with praise. When a slower paced music was played, a discouraging scene would be present. For instance, the scene of Monroe’s extreme manic depression was complimented with sad music. This same scene, entitled DEATH, preceded her suicide. In conclusion, color and music was a major tone setter of the Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe.

Though the artists have different themes to their masterpieces, they use some of the same methods to get their point across. The artists had different motives when the theme came to mind. Frith had a serious issue that initiated his creative outburst. Marriage was the theme at hand when one looks at the painting. But there was an underlying theme- social separation- as well. Millais’ piece shows the attempted conspiracy cover up by the young woman. And finally, Gonzalez tells the “behind closed doors” story of Marilyn Monroe. Gonzalez, Millais, and Frith accurately used wardrobe to express time period. Marilyn Monroe wore the white dress she that she was known to wear. The man was in a classical suit that would be associated with the nineteenth century in Frith’s For Better or For Worse. In addition, the young woman is wearing a traditional nineteenth century red dress in Millais’ Trust Me. In conclusion, the artworks have some differences and some similarities.
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