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Tag Archives: Marilyn Monroe

The Instrument Is Not The Camera: Eve Arnold

If you do a Google image search for Eve Arnold, the majority of the photographs that come up are of Marilyn Monroe. It’s not surprising, considering  she spent ten years documenting the starlet; whether on movie sets, at special celebrity events, or just her everyday life. The photographs of Monroe, however, are just a small portion of her work. There is an incredible diversity to her photography which rivaled any photographer of her day. Her subjects range from migrant laborers to the Queen of England; from prostitutes in Cuba to First Lady Jackie Kennedy. It didn’t matter who the subject was, she treated them all with the same amount of respect and interest, all while capturing thousands of photographs from around the world.

Born in Philadelphia to Russian immigrant parents in 1912, Arnold took up photography when a boyfriend gave her a Rolleicord (the cheaper version of the Rolleiflex) at the age of 34. She had been working at a photo-finishing lab for several years, so she knew the technical side of photography, but she quickly became enamored with the artistic side. She soon ended her studies in medicine, and began seriously pursuing photography as a career, beginning with a six-week course at New York’s New School for Social Research (where Richard Avedon was a classmate). As soon as it was over, she took off and began taking pictures. Her first project was photographing fashion in Harlem. She spent months in places most photographers would never have gone, especially as a white female. She spent the next year and a half in bars, restaurants, church halls; wherever these models were showing their homemade gowns….Being rejected by most publications in the US because of the subject matter, her husband sent some of her prints to Britain’s Picture Post, who published the story in 1951. She had applied to become a photographer for the Magnum Photography Agency and the publication of these images were a big part of her acceptance. She so impressed the agency’s founders, including Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson, that she became the first woman photographer accepted into the organization, working for them as a free-lance photographer until 1957 when she became a full member…..READ MORE

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Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair

The National Portrait Gallery is holding an exhibition of photographs of Marilyn Monroe. Photographs and magazine covers from 1947 to 1962 celebrate the transformation of the world’s most popular pin-up to acclaimed actress, highlighting the British photographers and personalities who admired her and worked with her.

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE

29 September 2012 – 24 March 2013 The exhibition is free and in room 33

Marilyn Monroe; Cecil Beaton, by Ed Pfizenmaier, 22 February 1956 - NPG  - © Ed Pfizenmaier

© Ed Pfizenmaier

Edith Sitwell and Marilyn Monroe, 1953 Photograph by George Silk/LIFE – © Time Inc

© Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby’s London

Marilyn Monroe, by Cecil Beaton, 22 February 1956 - NPG  - © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby's London

© Cecil Beaton Studio Archive, Sotheby’s London

See more of the NPG Monroe archive here

Lawrence Schiller’s best photograph: Marilyn Monroe

Interview by in The Guardian

“‘”You’re going to make me famous,” I said. “Photographers can be replaced,” replied Marilyn'”....MORE

Marilyn Monroe in 1962 … Lawrence Schiller’s best shot. Photograph: Laurence Schiller/1996-98 AccuSoft Inc.

Elliott Erwitt: Personal Best – Exhibition – International Centre for Photography NYC

This major retrospective showcases the career of photographer and filmmaker Elliott Erwitt, the recipient of this year’s ICP Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement. Distinguished as both a documentary and commercial photographer, Erwitt has made some of the most memorable photographs of the twentieth century, including portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, and Che Guevara, as well as astonishing scenes of everyday life, filled with poetry, wit, and special sense of humor. Details of where, when etc here

Cindy Sherman – working with MAC comestics

Cindy Sherman, one of the most original photographic artists has again breached the world of commercial presentation, she did it before with her fashion series and now with MAC cosmestics on make-up. This well written article in the Guardian by explains

“Cindy Sherman fronting a MAC makeup collection? What took them so long? In some ways, when you consider why we wear makeup, this seems the perfect collaboration. We do it to play up and manipulate our features; to peacock, colour in, draw moons of light around our eyes and shades of suggestion on our lips, to make ourselves more visible. The other, not unrelated motive, is to hide in plain sight.

Sherman, now in her late 50s, has been doing just that for more than three decades. She has always been the subject of her own work, and earlier this year sold a self-portrait for $3.89m (£2.4m) – the highest price ever paid for a single photograph. And yet she remains anonymous. In her photographs, she uses makeup to transform herself, becoming simultaneously obscure and mesmerising. One moment she is Marilyn Monroe, the next a woman lying dead and gravel-grazed in a road – the next a creature with a woman’s hands and a pig’s snout.”...more