Marisol (born Maria Sol) Escobar, known as Marisol, was born to Venezuelan parents in Paris. After studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Marisol moved to New York City in 1950 where she studied at the Art Students League, the New School for Social Research, from 1951 to 1954, as well as at the Hans Hofmann school.
Marisol left for Rome in 1957. Returning to New York in 1960, she became one of the few women artists involved in the pop art movement. Although she had initially made small clay figures that showed the influence of pre-Columbian art, her best-known work is of wood, carved and painted to resemble public personalities. Her figures are often accessorized with real objects and clothing. Some works feature cast plaster body parts--arms, hands, and faces--applied to boxlike wooden torsos. The artist frequently uses her own face in her works.
Marisol spent several years working in the Far East in the late 1960s and 1970s, returning to New York City in 1981. The artist has worked in various art forms. She is best known as a sculptor whose assemblages and boxlike figures satirize American culture, and in particular, the worlds of politics and fashion, as in Papagallo.
[This is an excerpt from the interactive companion program to the videodisc American Art from the National Gallery of Art. Produced by the Department of Education Resources, this teaching resource is one of the Gallery's free-loan educational programs.]