Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Spotlight: With Marilyn: An Evening /1961


With Marilyn: An Evening/1961 by Douglas Kirkland, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com


Douglas Kirkland is a highly respected and celebrated photographer who has created an amazing body of work through the various images that he has captured throughout his career. His work has been featured in Look and Life magazines as well as in many other outlets where he photographed a variety of subjects. Back in 1961, when he was a young photographer at Look magazine, he was given an assignment for the 25th anniversary issue to photograph the movie star and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. It was a golden opportunity for Kirkland. We have to remember that Marilyn was the ideal and was the epitome of the glitz and glamour of Hollywood at the time, so this was an incredible assignment. And even though Marilyn Monroe died well over fifty years ago, her status as an icon has not faded and probably never will.


With Marilyn: An Evening/1961 by Douglas Kirkland, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com



She had a mystique about her and in the book With Marilyn: An Evening/1961 by Douglas Kirkland, published by Glitterati Incorporated, Kirkland captures this iconic beauty in the simple setting of an unmade bed.


With Marilyn: An Evening/1961 by Douglas Kirkland, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com

We get to see this intimate night through the lens of Douglas Kirkland and we get a glimpse of Marilyn Monroe as just a beautiful woman. And when I say "just" it's not meant to diminish her in any way. It's a compliment. In this intriguing collection of photographs, we get to see Marilyn without the designer gowns and jewels and other trappings of her movie star status. As I looked through the book I let go of the images that I have in my head of what she looked like and I just really looked at her face. In doing this it made me see the detail of her face as a woman and not the image of her face as an icon, if that makes any sense.


With Marilyn: An Evening/1961 by Douglas Kirkland, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com

The photographs are beautifully done and I love the gauzy effect that Kirkland created. This effect made each picture seem even more intimate and unguarded. Even though Marilyn Monroe was at the pinnacle of her career during this time, when she was going through the process of choosing the best shots from the session and she settled upon one of her favorites, she told Kirkland:

"I like this girl because she's the kind of woman that every man would like to be in there with; the kind of girl that a truck driver would like to be in that bed with."



With Marilyn: An Evening/1961 by Douglas Kirkland, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com

Marilyn was keen to stay relatable to the regular guy even though she moved in circles with presidents and kings. I found it very revealing to see this somewhat grounded side of her.


With Marilyn: An Evening/1961 by Douglas Kirkland, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com

Douglas Kirkland's thoughts about the photo session and Marilyn are peppered throughout the book. His commentary makes for a very interesting read.



With Marilyn: An Evening/1961 by Douglas Kirkland, 
published by Glitterati Incorporated, http://glitteratiincorporated.com

The images are flirtatious and sexy as well as being very refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed With Marilyn: An Evening/1961 because it made me see Marilyn Monroe in a whole new light. I saw her as "Marilyn Monroe", but as I peeled away the layers I saw Marilyn, the beautiful woman who Douglas Kirkland photographed one evening in 1961. I think that's the genius of great photography when you see something or someone in a new way because of the skill of the photographer and in this case the realness of the person being photographed. Douglas Kirkland and Marilyn Monroe created a kind of magic on that evening and we are given the chance to experience it in the pages of this wonderful book.

 With Marilyn: An Evening/1961 can be purchased here.


*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

2 comments:

TheGoldenGoddess said...

Aaaaw, Marilyn Monroe!

There is no one quite like her! Yes, her allure lasts like a lingering, expensive perfume…

Your post was so redolent with the Monroe appeal, until I could close my eyes and see the billowing white skirt and hear the "Happy Birthday to you."

Kudos,

C

Dori P said...

C,
You have summed Marilyn's essence up beautifully with your elegant words! :)