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Posted: 04.13.2003
Your candle burned out long before your legend ever did
I've long-been a fan of Marilyn Monroe. She was the ultimate pinup, the very definition of sexy, and the inspiration behind the first design I ever used for my blog. To me, she seemed to encompass every range of emotion -- on and off screen -- that a woman could go through. All at once. Lascivious. Elated. Misunderstood. Patronized. Objectified. Vulnerable. Frightened.

It seems that if you study any photo series of her, there's always one image where her real guard came down, and the pain bubbling from deep inside was captured -- apart from the smiles. Take this one -- one of my favorites -- for instance (photo 1, photo 2, photo 3). I have a print from it framed in our guest bedroom. Her expression in that second photo haunts me every time I see it, and I don't know why. Or maybe deep down, I really do. She wanted to be a mother more than anything in this world. One luxury she was never afforded...

Hey boy take a look at me...let me dirty up your mind...

Interesting, I have never seen these shots before.

¤ ¤ credit: Don | 04.13.03 at 07:55 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

It's from a series she shot with Milton H. Greene. He has several great Marilyn images at his site.

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 04.13.03 at 08:02 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

she is gorgeous, and she still has an incredible following in this country and around the world. we watched about 15 mins of the antiques roadshow program the other day - no, not a daily occurence - and there were a couple marilyn pieces that fetched remarkable sums of money. she is a true american pop icon, i just don't think that many people know how tragic her story is.

¤ ¤ credit: jane | 04.13.03 at 08:08 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Robyn, do you know that you can almost pass for her? It's the first picture that brought that to mind, there is something in it, the way she looks, and the way you look in the top left picture. I hope I am not stepping out of line, but one day, someone, [Todd] should take a picture of you in that same pose [photo 1].

¤ ¤ credit: munin | 04.13.03 at 09:57 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Great pics Robyn... (((((hugs to you, hon))))

¤ ¤ credit: Aurora | 04.13.03 at 09:58 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I've always thought exactly the same thing about that photo series. I think I was about 9-10 when I first saw it, and even at that age I was struck by how tortured/afraid/pleading that expression was. BEFORE I saw that picture I thought I was looking at "dirty pictures" (I was and still am naive, okay?). After seeing that face, I realized I was looking at someone's soul, and one that had seen/felt a great deal of pain recently.

I think it was that picture that jumpstarted my drawing, actually, though my artwork rarely showed emotion in that way.

Eerie, beautiful, joy, pain, happiness, sorrow. All in one. A classic.

¤ ¤ credit: Mike | 04.13.03 at 10:01 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

munin, I must say I'm a little embarrassed, but thank you. I think the closest I've ever come to that expression on camera -- and quite unintentionally because we were goofing off -- is this old silly snapshot session in Shutterblog from about a year ago. I don't know where the look on my face, third pic down, came from.

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 04.13.03 at 10:15 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

{{{R}}} Love you!

¤ ¤ credit: Angel | 04.13.03 at 10:54 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I've never seen that series of pics. Thanks for sharing them.

¤ ¤ credit: Lisa, Gal of Unix | 04.13.03 at 11:42 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I love you girl!

¤ ¤ credit: gnome-girl | 04.14.03 at 12:35 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

By the way, here's a photo from the black sweater series that I didn't include on the main page because it's so grainy -- but for those of you seeing the portraits for the first time, here you go.

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 04.14.03 at 02:23 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

I too love Marily and could realte to her. I had her pictures up on my wall growing up. I love the Milton Green series and her 1955 series. Andre De Diens are her best as well.

¤ ¤ credit: dj mo fo | 04.14.03 at 09:36 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

¤ ¤ credit: Jonathan Smith | 04.14.03 at 12:12 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I'm curious to know when the shoot took place, comparing it with her lifestyle at the time.

¤ ¤ credit: Lutero | 04.15.03 at 04:44 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

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