Today commemorates the untimely death of Marilyn Monroe at the age of 36, an effervescent glamour puss and arguably the most famous female icon of all time.
I suppose she was trying to make a phone call before she was overwhelmed. It was just so unbelievable, so simple and final and over. ~ Ralph Greenson
My interest in Marilyn began as a teenager as I was waiting for a flight to Spain for having spent most of my holiday fund on the book by Fred Lawrence Guiles in an airport store and to the consternation of my family, I spent the rest of the week with my head buried within the pages and I have been reading about her ever since!
Her mysterious death on Sunday August 5 1962 has only added to the myth and intrigue which surrounds her complex and fascinating life and with every passing year, the events of that hot and balmy August weekend in 1962 would appear to demand yet more theories and innuendo as the clamour for reasons to refute the official cause of death as ‘Probable Suicide’ remains undiminished
Is it likely that we will ever know the truth of what happened to Marilyn Monroe?
And even if incontrovertible evidence were presented that she did indeed die by her own hand, would we believe it?
For is it possible to accept that a beautiful and talented woman took the conscious decision to end her life one lonely Saturday evening?
The answer is ‘probably not’ when one considers the demand for the books which are published in ever increasing numbers with each passing year and which all purport to tell us ‘The Final Truth’.
Whether it was the tragic 1997 car accident of a Princess who perished for failing to wear a seat belt or the jealous rage of a successful and affable O.J. Simpson leading him to butcher two innocent people on a June evening in 1994; or indeed the probable suicide of the most famous film star of all time; it could be argued that the most logical explanation would appear to be the most absurd.
However; conspiracy theories, motives and explanations aside, all we can know for certain is that the nude body of Marilyn Monroe was discovered in a partially decorated bedroom of her home in Westwood in Los Angeles 56 years ago on this day.
For it was the idea of this ‘death scene’ which captured my imagination for the design of one of my more controversial pieces and as Marilyn had died in the house she had bought only months before with a tiled doorstep bearing the Latin inscription for ‘My journey is completed’, ‘Cursum Perficio’ is a recreation of the demise of this icon inspired by the published material and photographic images.
The ‘Marilyn’ figure is the creation of Jain from the Giddy Kipper and although she is internationally known for her miniature unique characters – several of which have now moved in with the other fantastical folk over in the All Hallows Hamlet – Jain would probably be the first to argue that a ‘deceased’ Marilyn Monroe was far from the definition of a ‘whimsical’ character!
However, having accepted my commission with some bemusement, Jain has created a shockingly poignant figure of some grace and contention and in keeping with the maelstrom of conspiracy which continues to swirl around the death of this lady – even after all of these years!
Goddess The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe Anthony Summers (UK: Indigo 1985)