Last month we learned that Lindsay Lohan will be “channeling Marilyn Monroe” in her upcoming nude pictorial for Playboy magazine but today we learn that the actual nude photographs of Monroe (that have proved to be inspiration for countless wannabes) will soon be available in a new hardcover book. While other starlets have tried to make a career imitating Marilyn Monroe and her work, the actual object of imitation herself will soon be available to own by fans … so why go for the fake when you can have the real thing? Norman Mailer, Bert Stern: Marilyn Monroe will be available in a limited edition tome that will feature Monroe‘s final collection of nude photographs … click below to see what the book has in store for collectors.
In mid-December, Taschen Books releases what is perhaps the most weighty tribute to Marilyn Monroe ever produced: an 18-pound limited-edition art book titled Norman Mailer, Bert Stern: Marilyn Monroe. Each book, clocking in at almost two feet tall and wide, is signed by Bert Stern, who shot sessions with Monroe on assignment with Vogue magazine over the course of two weekends just six weeks before her death in 1962. The intimate portraits, which ranged from nude to fashion shots, are paired with Norman Mailer’s 1973 biography Marilyn in this gorgeously executed book. The $1,000 book runs to just 1,962 numbered copies (with 250 of those a $2,500 art edition that comes with one print). THR spoke with Stern– who is also of the subject of an upcoming documentary, Becoming Bert Stern — at the Bel-Air Hotel where his portrait sittings with Monroe took place almost 50 years ago.
ON HOW HE GOT THE NUDE PHOTOS: “That was her idea,” says Stern, who had brought a number of transparent scarves as accessories. “She could see they were transparents so she asked her hairdresser what he thought of doing nudes and he thought that would be a good idea. I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
ON WHAT MOTIVATED HER TO POSE NUDE: It was “absolutely” calculated says Stern. “She had just had a divorce from Arthur Miller, she’d lost the movie Something’s Gotta Give. I thought it was the only time in her life I could approach her. I had thought of it but I didn’t think she would do it.”
ON MONROE’S BEHAVIOR DURING THE SHOOT: “She didn’t talk about her life but she talked. She was combative in a way, confrontational. She asked me: Didn’t I want to be a film director? What was my premise? She just made little comments.”
ON MONROE’S UBIQUITY: “She’s like part of the world. She’s like the weather.”
ON WHY SHE IS STILL AN ICON: “In the way that Christ represents religion, she represents femininity. The female spirit. She’s the girl next door. The American dream girl. She was just gorgeous. She was everything, Funny, beautiful, very sexy, great body, she was clever, a good model. I didn’t expect her to be so naturally beautiful. I had expected her more blown up, heavier, much more fake. She was very real. I took to her right away.”
ON WHETHER HE SAW HER END COMING: “No, I had no inclination. I just thought she was a typical beautiful crazy girl but particularly pretty and a lot of fun.”
The news that Lindsay Lohan‘s upcoming pictorial for Playboy magazine was reportedly inspired by Marilyn Monroe has reminded me what an important iconic force Marilyn Monroe continues to be in pop culture. So many people are inspired by Marilyn that it really says a lot about the woman as an original Hollywood icon. To be honest, I am a bit bored with the idea of Lindsay pretending to be Marilyn — again. This new book of actual images of Marilyn is much more exciting to me. I don’t know that I would be shelling out $1,000 – $2,500 for this book … but I can understand how a collector might happily spend this kind of money to own the original over a copycat. No matter how many other pretenders to the throne will attempt to emulate her … There will only ever be ONE Marilyn Monroe.