Mermaid is one of fifteen paintings by Robert Indiana that takes the actress Marilyn Monroe as its subject. Here Monroe is transformed into a mermaid, a mythological character often depicted as a seductress. The painting incorporates five names around the inside of the circle, beginning with Baker, Marilyn Monroe’s original surname, which she was known by at 16, when she married her classmate from Van Nuys High School, Jim Dougherty, whose surname follows. This is followed by Monroe, which the actress adopted as her stage name and then legal name, and the last names of her second and third husbands, the baseball great [Joe] DiMaggio, and the author and playwright [Arthur] Miller. In the center of the painting is “The Kennedies [sic],” a reference to Monroe’s infamous rumored affairs with President John F. Kennedy and his brother Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.