Thursday – June 21st, 2018 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Pop International Galleries
195 Bowery (at Spring Street) New York, NY 10002
How does a thing like this happen? In a career lasting just 17 years, a young woman launches from total obscurity into the stratosphere, becoming one of the most famous people to ever live. Her name and likeness are more easily recognized than history's most powerful and accomplished individuals.
Marilyn Monroe came from a modest background and survived a less than ideal upbringing. She was attractive, but not one of Hollywood's A-list beauties. She could act, but was never an A-list actor. Yet, through her secret formula of ambition, courage, sex appeal, and an artist's ability to reflect the times and foreshadow what might be next, Norma Jeane created Marilyn. And, as they say, “the rest is history”.
Fortunately for us, Marilyn Monroe left behind a mountain of photographs, taken by every class of photographer – amateur, journeyman and world famous shooter. The best of these stills, like all great images, show us something extra – a telling moment, perhaps too fast or too subtle to be registered in real time, but captured in a click of the shutter. It's in these moments, and through these photographs, that we can start to fathom how a thing like this could happen. How Marilyn Monroe, a backbench contract player became a major movie star and the most famous icon from the 20th century.
Capturing this transformation, Andrew Weiss has assembled a unique exhibition of Marilyn Monroe Photographs from her first professional assignment in 1945 through the last photographs taken in 1962. Each photographer's work gives us a different perspective into Marilyn, sometimes covering the same time and place, sometimes the same place 17 years apart. In these pictures, through the contrast and the similarities, we can see bits of the real person she was, and start to understand how this young woman could rise to such heights.
Of course, exactly how these things happen can't adequately be put into words. The formula, if there is one, will always be secret. But in these photographs, one might learn more about Marilyn Monroe, the human spirit, and the will to succeed, than in all the words written in all the years since her death. It's something one will sense, a feeling that emerges as one studies these truly remarkable pictures.