Marilyn Monroe Sculpture in Chicago: Methinks We Doth Protest Too Much.

Marilyn Monroe Sculpture in Chicago:  Methinks We Doth Protest Too Much.

Chicago, Sunday, July, 17, 2011. The 26-foot “Forever Marilyn” sculpture which was unveiled last Friday on Chicago’s Pioneer Court has become the target of controversy.  “Sexist”, “creepy”, “wrong”, “bad taste”, “porn”, decry many.  Others say, “I think it’s really neat”, “I love it”, “It’s fun”, “Outrageous, in a good way”.  Around the globe people are weighing-in with their opinions on the statue by artist Seward Johnson.  Even the “Wall St. Journal”, still spinning from their hacking controversy, adds their two cents worth labeling it “an overused cultural icon that triggers a gag reflex”. London’s “Daily Mail” poses the question: “Work of art or a pervert’s paradise?”

Love it or hate it, people are ogling, googling and and debating about the almost 3-story replica of Monroe’s famous subway grate scene from the 1955 movie, “The Seven Year Itch.”

In his Perspective Thursday night, CBS 2’s Walter Jacobson embraced the sculpture as a “welcome addition to the Mag Mile…just when we need it, a smile on that mile,” he quips.

On the other side of the brouhaha, Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich lambasted it “as tawdry as a peep show”.

Film actress and 1950’s sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe, who died under mysterious circumstances on August, 5, 1962 at the age of 36 and would have turned 85 last month, has been born again on Chicago’s Mag Mile. If nothing else, she’s taken our mind off the economy, the debt ceiling debate and flash mobs.  And no matter how one may feel about the “Forever Marilyn” statue–it is doing what public art is intended to do–to get us talking.  As the debate heats up along with our Chicago summer, I wonder–what would Marilyn think?  While we’re looking up is she looking down?


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  • fb_avatar

    She died in 1962, August 5 which sparked the rumors and insinuation between her , JFK /RFK and her untimely death.

  • In reply to Ded Led Zombee:

    Right on, TY--can't believe her 50th year death anniversary will be a little over a year from now--August 2012. Correction noted.

  • Love it! It's meant to be "grate" art - not fine art - and adds some whimsy to Michigan Avenue.

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    Pretty tacky..but then "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of Americans."

    Incredible to think about is that Marilyn Monroe wore a size 16 (!) dress! Now with models wearing size 0 and the fashion industry saying that size 12 is a PLUS size. I guess dress designers are afraid of the bodies of real women....

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    Marilyn is a Legend and probably the best known and loved Americans worldwide. She is the supreme example of glitz and showbusiness and would just love to be on show to her adoring public. We want the Marilyn figure here in Sydney Australia, us Aussies know how to treat a fabulous and wonderful Icon and a truly loved individual.

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    In reply to Sydney Lawrence:

    Oh! incidentally, we Australians love Chicago and we hope to visit later in the year to enjoy the excellence of Marilyn and the beauty of the big C.

  • In reply to Sydney Lawrence:

    I do believe you Aussies have the right idea. Marilyn will be on display at Pioneer Court in Chicago through spring 2012. I think Australia may be a good move for her. I agree that Marilyn would love the statue.

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