by Seward Johnson
“Forever Marilyn” has made her way back to Palm Springs! Her new home is at the corner of Museum Way and Belardo Road. The 26-foot sculpture by Seward Johnson was a tourism phenomenon during her initial Palm Springs debut (2012-2014). Marilyn Monroe has a rich history with Palm Springs, beginning in 1949 when she was discovered at Charlie Farrell’s Racquet Club by William Morris talent agent, Johnny Hyde.
Forever Marilyn is the 26 ft. tall, 24,000 lbs. sculpture of Marilyn Monroe by American artist Seward Johnson, inspired by the famous photograph taken by Bernard of Hollywood on the set of the film, The Seven Year Itch. The dramatic sculpture is extremely realistic – especially in the skin tones. Her unique patina involves 1O layers of hues with a matte finish (except for the glossy elements of her lips, toe nails and the pearlized finish on the earrings). A passion for detail and an uncanny realism of pose are qualities often associated with Johnson's works. During his lifetime, he explored in three dimensions why some visual images so captivate us that they become larger than life. These subjects outlive their own time periods and come to stand for something metaphoric and grand. Forever Marilyn belongs to the series entitled, ICONS REVISITED.
Although Forever Marilyn has traveled the world, there is perhaps no better location for this work than Palm Springs. Marilyn Monroe’s connection to Palm Springs is legendary. In 1949, at age 22, Marilyn was “discovered” in Palm Springs at Charlie Farrell’s Racquet Club by William Morris talent agent Johnny Hyde. Many famous photos of Marilyn were taken around the Racquet Club’s swimming pool. In the 195O’s, she was a regular visitor to Palm Springs with her second husband, baseball great Joe DiMaggio, and by the 196O’s she had a home in the Vista Las Palmas neighborhood. Marilyn Monroe loved Palm Springs and the exhibit of Forever Marilyn is a true homecoming.
For more information about the artist visit www.sewardjohnsonatelier.org