Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche in Paris
29 October 2011 – 7 January 2012
“In 1999 I had a chance to attend as a spectator “The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe” auction at Christie’s in New York. I was intrigued by a masterfully orchestrated ritual in a room filled with people determined to shell out thousands of dollars for the right to own a piece of Hollywood’s most iconic woman. It is at Christie’s that I first started wondering about the elements of the exceptional longevity and modernity of Monroe’s myth.
A rare opportunity presented itself in 2005, six years after the Christie’s auction. A collector friend bought a summer dress from a private wardrobe of Marilyn Monroe. The access I was granted to the relic allowed me to begin my own exploration of Monroe’s legend. With the borrowed dress of Marilyn folded in my photographer’s bag I went out to record the stories and meet the people who 50 years after Monroe’s death still feel an emotional connection to the star.”
Pulitzer-Prize winning film critic Roger Ebert said “I enjoyed the imagination and wit of your project, and I tweeted about it.”
Saatchi Online Magazine’s Ana Finel Honigman wrote: “Contemporary urban culture may be largely secular, but we still have our saints and martyrs. Celebrities, revered as quasi-religious icons, inflame our imaginations with an awe that overrides their fundamental humanity. Yury Toroptsov demonstrates in his work, the relics of fame carry as much magic as holy articles might to the faithful.”
For more information about the book and the exhibition, visit the web site of the artist www.toroptsov.com.