Ari Marcopoulos Exhibit in San Francisco

Ari Marcopoulos, a former protegee of Andy Warhol, is the subject of a new exhibition at San Francisco’s Gallery 16, opening on September 9.

 “The new photogravure edition combines elements of his own history, using iconic images of Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe portrait, and his more recent photographs of graffiti. For years Marcopoulos worked with Xerox machines as a medium to create his photographic prints. In these compositions he uses several of his photographs to make multi-pass Xerox prints, resulting in new compositions born out of chance. Using the Intaglio process, we elevate the simple and direct beauty of the low-fi Xerox technique through the lavish tradition of Photogravure. The edition consists of 15 prints and will be presented from September 9th to October 30th at Gallery 16.”

Happenstand

Mailer’s Marilyn Still in Demand

Norman Mailer‘s 1973 photo-biography, Marilyn, comes 8th in Bookfinder‘s list of the most in-demand, out-of-print books. The book was a bestseller on publication, and it is still easy to find used copies at reasonable prices. For those with money to spare, Taschen have republished Mailer’s original text in a deluxe package, with photos by Bert Stern from 1962.

‘A Case For Murder’

A new investigation into Marilyn’s death by author Jay Margolis, now available in softcover, hardback or as a digital download from publisher i-Universe and other online stores.

“It is one of the greatest mysteries of the twentieth century. How did Marilyn Monroe die? Although no pills were found in her stomach during the autopsy, it was still documented in the Los Angeles coroner’s report that she had swallowed sixty-four sleeping pills prior to her demise. In Marilyn Monroe: A Case for Murder, biographer Jay Margolis presents the most thorough investigation of Marilyn Monroe’s death to date and shares how he reached the definitive conclusion that she was murdered.

Margolis meticulously dissects the events leading up to her death, revealing a major conspiracy and countless lies. In an exclusive interview with actress Jane Russell three months before her death, he reveals Russell’s belief that Monroe was murdered and points the finger at the man she held responsible. While examining the actions of Peter Lawford, Bobby Kennedy, and Monroe’s psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson, Margolis establishes a timeline of her last day alive that leads to shocking revelations.

In August 1962, Marilyn Monroe’s lifeless body was found on her bed, leaving all to wonder what really happened to the beautiful young starlet. Marilyn Monroe: A Case for Murder provides a fascinating examination of one of the most puzzling deaths of all time.”

Audrey Flack’s Marilyn in Jersey City Exhibit

One of my favourite artists depicting Marilyn, Audrey Flack, features in ‘Our Own Directions: Four Decades of Photo-Realism’, a new exhibition opening on September 18 at Mana Arts Center, Jersey City. Another of Flack’s paintings has graced the cover of Carl Rollyson’s Marilyn Monroe: A Life of the Actress (1986.)

“Author Louis K. Meisel points out that  Audrey Flack was the lone female artist among the original group of Photorealists.  Despite the challenges of forging a career in a male-dominated art world, Flack is the only Photorealist whose work is included in collections of New York’s four major art museums: the Met, the MoMA, the Whitney and the Guggenheim. The Yale-educated artist abandoned her involvement with an elite group of Abstract Expressionists and moved firmly into realism in the ’50s.  Flack began making paintings based on newspaper and magazine stills of political figures and events, including Hitler and Kennedy’s Motorcade.  Her political subjects were followed by film stars such as Marilyn Monroe, and she also made still life paintings of desserts, cosmetics, jewelry and assorted mementos.  Flack is recognized as an important influence on contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons who acknowledges her influence on the ironic kitsch themes in his work.”

Walking in the Footsteps of Marilyn Monroe

Author Michelle Morgan is best-known for her 2007 biography, Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed. Prior to this, she had written another book, Marilyn’s Addresses (1995), under the name of Michelle Finn.

Michelle has now compiled a downloadable list of Monroe-related locations. Walking in the Footsteps of Marilyn Monroe is available to buy direct from Michelle as a text-only PDF file for £5 (via Paypal.) If you’re interested, email Michelle: CaroleLombard@sky.com

Readers will also be glad to hear that a fully revised, paperback edition of Private and Undisclosed will be published next year. For more details on Michelle and her work, visit her on Facebook

St Vincent Inspired by Marilyn’s Writing

 

St Vincent – aka musician Annie Erin Clark – performed ‘Surgeon’, a song inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s writings, now available as a free download from her forthcoming album, Strange Mercy, at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on Thursday, reports the Times:

‘St. Vincent ended her concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Thursday night with an emotionally complicated plea. “Best, finest surgeon,” she sang coolly, fingers skittering along the neck of her guitar. “Come cut me open.”

The song was “Surgeon,” with lyrics inspired by an entry in Marilyn Monroe’s diary, and St. Vincent made its queasy hunger feel palpable, even, somehow, during the mounting vulgarity of the synth-guitar solo that she used as a coda.

Surgery isn’t a bad metaphor for the process by which St. Vincent, a k a Annie Clark, creates her music. But she’s rarely if ever the one being operated on. What she does is traumatic but controlled, unsentimental but not uncaring. She can seem clinical, but she knows what she’s doing in there.’

The song is based on a piece published in Fragments, the 2010 collection of Marilyn’s writing. It was written on Waldorf-Astoria stationary (MM lived at the hotel in 1955.)

This may be an account of a dream. It is filled with characters from Marilyn’s life at the time – Lee Strasberg, Arthur Miller, Milton Greene, Dr Hohenberg, the Rostens – and suggests Marilyn’s intense fear of not living up to their expectations.

Like many of Marilyn’s undefined pieces, it has the quality of a prose poem. The bolded parts denote spelling anomalies, while the crossings-out are her own.

Best finest surgeon – Strasberg

waits to cut me open which I don’t mind since Dr H

has prepared me – given me anesthetic

and has also diagnosed the case and

agrees with what has to be done –

an operation – to bring myself back to

life and to cure me of this terrible dis-ease

whatever the hell it is –

Arthur is the only one waiting in the outer

room – worrying and hoping operation successful

for many reasons – for myself – for his play and

for himself indirectly

Hedda – concerned – keeps calling on phone during

operation – Norman – keeps stopping by hospital to

see if I’m okay but mostly to comfort Art

who is so worried –

Milton calls from office with lots of room

and everything in good taste – and is conducting

business in a new way with style – and music

is playing and he is relaxed and enjoying himself even if he

is very worried at the same time – there’s a camera

on his desk but he doesn’t take pictures anymore except

of great paintings.

Strasberg cuts me open after Dr. H gives me

anesthesia and tries in a medical way to comfort

me – everything in the room is white in fact but I

can’t even see anyone just white objects –

they cut me open – Strasberg with Hohenberg’s ass.

and there is absolutely nothing there – Strasberg is

deeply disappointed but more even – academically amazed

that he had made such a mistake. He thought there was going

to be so much – more than he had dreamed possible in

almost anyone but

instead there was absolutely nothing – devoid of

every human living feeling thing – the only thing

that came out was so finely cut sawdust – like

out of a raggedy ann doll – and the sawdust spills

all over the floor & table and Dr. H is puzzled

because suddenly she realizes that this is a

new type case of puple. The patient (pupil – or student – I started to write) existing of complete emptiness

Strasberg’s hopes & dreams for theater are fallen.

Dr H’s dreams and hopes for a permanent psychiatric cure

is given up – Arthur is disappointed – let down +

 

‘Some Like it Hot’ and the Censors

Some Like it Hot was voted ‘funniest film of all time’ by the AFI. Its popularity is so ubiquitous that few stop to consider what made it so special. Over at Film.com, Eric D. Snider asks, ‘What’s the big deal?’

“Some Like It Hot was also one of the nails in the coffin of the Production Code. This was the Motion Picture Association of America’s method of self-censorship, instituted in the 1930s to keep the government from getting involved. By the 1950s, Hollywood was growing restless with the Code, and even after updates were made to reflect the changing times (you were allowed to depict interracial romances now!), there were still a lot of restrictions.

So filmmakers started pushing back. Adhering to the Code was voluntary, technically, but it had long been the accepted wisdom that a movie released without the MPAA’s seal of approval would be a flop, either because theaters wouldn’t play it, or audiences wouldn’t watch it, or both. But the studios gradually began to suspect that this was no longer the case. Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), with its graphic depiction of drug use, couldn’t get MPAA certification — so United Artists released it without one. The film was a commercial and critical success and the recipient of three Oscar nominations. Skipping the MPAA approval process didn’t necessarily spell doom after all.

The MPAA rejected Some Like It Hot because of its double entendre, cross-dressing, vague allusions to homosexuality, and general naughtiness. The studio (United Artists again) released it anyway, and it was, as previously noted, a smash hit. More and more people in Hollywood started saying, “Wait, tell me again why we even have a Production Code…?” After more and more films pushed the limits in the 1960s, the Code was finally abandoned and replaced with the rating system familiar to us now.”

Lohan Intro to Bruno Bernard Book

 

Megan Fox may be so over Marilyn, but it’s good to hear that Lindsay Lohan is still very much a fan. She has written a forward to Marilyn: Intimate Exposures, a new collection of photos by Bruno Bernard, as revealed in the Huffington Post:

“Marilyn was the beautiful bad girl in that tight, rose-colored dress. The character she played was strong and taking control, which I unconsciously knew at that young age [12] was a necessary quality for a woman. I can understand the photographer Bernard of Hollywood’s [Bruno Bernard] statement, ‘it took a superhuman effort to be Marilyn.’ I identify…

…People in their mind have created who I am and act as if there is no real person inside of me. Just like Marilyn. Marilyn never wanted to be just a celebrity. Neither do I … I had always thought that movie stars were in films that would last forever in your mind. But now the films don’t. I don’t want to be remembered as someone who just wanted to be photographed, who goes out at night, and gets in trouble…

…Heath Ledger once said to me, ‘It’s built you up to knock you down and that’s all it is.’ Marilyn said she had no foundation. But she said she was really working on it. I’ve been trying to do the same thing … I believe in myself and I’m a good actress.”

 

Sugar’s Stamp of Approval

Marilyn, in character as Sugar in Some Like it Hot, features on this new USPS stamp, to be issued in 2012 as part of the ‘Great Film Directors’ series (which also includes John Huston, director of The Misfits, while ex-husband Joe DiMaggio is featured in a Major League Baseball All-Stars series.)

Art Director Derry Noyes designed the ‘Great Film Directors’ stamps using art by award-winning illustrator Gary Kelley, who created the images using pastels on paper.

The stamps are being issued as Forever® stamps. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce rate.