A Timeless Sex Symbol…

We wave our Sex Issue goodbye (the Australiana Issue launches tomorrow!) with some photographs of the ultimate sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe. The photos are just some of the ones on display in an exhibition currently on at Galerie de l’Instant in Paris.

Marilyn Monroe 1962 Selfie_BERT STERN

© Bert Stern, 1962

The showcased photographs span a period of 16 years from 1946 to 1962. Some of the most striking images are those taken by Bert Stern in Los Angeles in June 1962, just six weeks before Marilyn died. The photo shoot was for Vogue and took place at the Hotel Bel-Air, and during the 12 hours of its duration, Stern captured the obviously tipsy Marilyn in her fragile but beautiful state (main image). There is also a rarely seen selfie (above), with the wine bottle in view.

Marilyn Monroe 1962_GEORGE BARRIS_2

© George Barris, 1962

Other wonderful shots come from George Barris’ series, taken between June 9th and July 18th, 1962 (when Marilyn was suspended by Fox) on Santa Monica Beach, California. Besides photographing her on the beach (above), Barris also took photos in a North Hollywood house (below) belonging to his friend, Tim Leimert. Almost make-up free, Marilyn not only posed for the photos but also told Barris the true story of his life. Both these images and quotes from Marilyn are immortalized in a book (a copy of which I own).

Marilyn Monroe 1962_GEORGE BARRIS

© George Barris, 1962

Marilyn Monroe 1946_ANDRE DE DIENES

© Andre de Dienes, 1946

The earliest photograph in the show captures Marilyn at age 20, hiding behind a blanket.

Marilyn Monroe 1957_SAM SHAW

© Sam Shaw, 1957

In 1957, Sam Shaw took a candid picture of Marilyn sitting on a bench reading a newspaper (above). There’s also a very intimate photo of Marilyn and her husband Arthur Miller in 1957 (below).

Marilyn Monroe avec Arthur Miller 195

© Sam Shaw, 1957

“What can I say? It’s a whim. Since our opening, this is the third photo exhibition dedicated to the star among all stars, the unforgettable Marilyn,” says the gallery’s owner, Julia Gragnon, as reported in i-D. Check out some of the other alluring images on display:

Marilyn Monroe 1953_PHILIPPE HALSMAN:MAGNUMJPG

© Philippe Halsman/Magnum, 1953

Marilyn Monroe 1962_BERT STERN

© Bert Stern, 1962

Marilyn Monroe 1962_LAWRENCE SCHILLER

© Lawrence Schiller, 1962

Inoubliable Marilyn runs until February 25, 2014 at Galerie de l’Instant, 46 rue de Poitou, Paris, France.

Main image © Bert Stern.

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