While everyone continues to trash the “Forever Marilyn” sculpture in Chicago, I instead found myself reminiscing about how I fell in love with her.
It was because of Marilyn Monroe that I started to develop a taste for old movies. When I was growing up, “Some Like it Hot” used to run a few times a year on the late show. I never missed it. Still love it today.
And of course Marilyn Monroe inspired my art. As a kid, I had learned how to draw by copying pictures of animals and cartoons. Then one day in high school I found a book of photographs of Marilyn from Life magazine. I was in awe. I just started drawing picture after picture of her, getting down every curve – and there were a lot of curves to get down. And I guess I’ve been stuck on drawing pretty girls ever since.
Now my little town of Northbrook has a library that shows films for free. The Northbrook Public Library has theatrical 35mm projection equipment which enables them to screen actual archival prints of movies. Their movie series is so popular that, according to the library’s multimedia manager Steve Gianni, the Chicago Reader named it the best free film series in the entire Chicago area.
But what is really fascinating is that the projection room of the library is called the “Marilyn Monroe Room.” When I first heard about this room I had to go see it. And I have to tell you, it is amazing. All four walls of the projection room are covered with pictures and memorabilia of Marilyn Monroe.
The only thing it was missing was me. There was no way that a Marilyn Monroe room was going to exist in my home town without me. So I painted a small little painting of Marilyn Monroe and donated it to the library – whether they wanted it or not.
So yes, I will be making a pilgrimage to “The Marilyn” on Michigan Avenue to pay homage to her. She was truly one of the greatest of all time. As for the sculpture itself, I’ll give the last word to Jack Higgins of the Chicago Sun-Times (click here).