Topic: Historic Hollywood
Sometimes the images on Hollywood Boulevard are just disturbing. The glamour turns sinister, or grotesque. Someone added a dab of yellow to the eye of Norma Shearer here, and that changed everything. ("Shearer was extremely beautiful, although care was taken in photographing her because she had a lazy eye.")
Take the famous iconic image of Marilyn Monroe from Billy Wilder's 1955 The Seven Year Itch, and render it in bronze, and make it both hyper-realistic physically, with the muscle definition in the leg and the odd kneecaps and the sagging breasts, and a little "off" as the face is too square and the shoulders too masculine, roll it out in front of the Hollywood Museum in the old Max Factor Building, and you get a bit of unsettling surrealism.
About the statue -
It it titled "The Sculpted Beauty."
On October 26th 2006 the bronze statue of Marilyn Monroe, the work of Domenico Neri, the founder of Neri S.p.A., was inaugurated at the Hollywood Museum of Los Angeles.
The ceremony saw the participation of numerous personalities from the world of culture and the cinema and was a moment of particular intensity and emotion for all who took part. During the ceremony the Municipal Authorities of Los Angeles and Hollywood, as well as the Italian consular representative in Los Angeles, General Diego Brasioli, sent their greetings.
The donation and the organization of the event, in fact, took place as part of a week dedicated to Italian culture, organized in collaboration with the Italian General Consulate with the patronage of the Italian Government and the Region of Emilia Romagna.
The statue, donated to the Museum by Neri S.p.A. and the fruit of long and passionate work by the artist, immortalizes the actress made famous by the film "Seven Year Itch," conserving for ever the diva's unforgettable fascination.
Domenico Neri has for years been dedicating himself to sculpture with increasing commitment, realizing bronze works which have been the subject of various exhibitions and which now constitute the Fondo Permanente di Scultura Domenico Neri, donated in 2003 to the Municipality of Longiano.
The location in Hollywood of his work dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, on the occasion of the eightieth anniversary of the celebrated actress’s birth, constitutes an important recognition of his work as an artist, alongside his achievements as an industrialist and the founder of one of the best established companies in the sector of urban illumination and décor.
And Orson Welles tires to be serious, while staring down at Oscar Levant's star in the sidewalk.
Topic: Botanical Studies
Early December in Los Angeles, this just off Mulholland Drive -
Noted in Passing
Topic: Light and Shadow
In one of the minor local newspapers out here, in this case the Marina del Rey Argonaut (published Thursdays with a print run of 42,000), there's this -
The always graceful and dignified tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain are again paying a visit to Marina del Rey - from Thursday through Wednesday, December 7th to 13th.
They are in town just long enough to conduct some educational cruises for children, open their decks to the public for tours and day trips and take part in the annual Holiday Boat Parade.
While many have seen the square-rigged brig Lady Washington on the silver screen in the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean films, now the community can enjoy the reality of both of these most accurate replicas and take a journey into the late 1700s, when a life at sea was probably the most risky and threatening work there was.
The rest of the item covers the history of the two ships and days of sail and all that sort of thing. Here's they are, passing Venice Beach on their way in. Marina del Rey is just a mile south.
In the alleys behind Melrose Avenue, on the south side of the street, the walls are covered with what can only be considered professional graffiti, which may be a contradiction in terms. It is hardly spontaneous. It's very carefully done. Perhaps there's a local camber of commerce that commissions all this, so tourists from Iowa who wander back there will be amazed at the hipness of the neighborhood, and stick around and spend more money in the trendy stores. Perhaps the trendy stores all chip in to pay for the work. Or perhaps it is only the result of "people power" after all, and done on a whim, even if it seems a bit too slick to be whimsical. In the slanted winter light it begs to be photographed. Why argue?
Topic: Color Studies
Color Studies - Melrose Avenue, Wednesday, December 6, 2006