Marilyn in Bloom, in Brighton

As Britain prepares for the bank holiday weekend, the sun is shining for what feels like the first time all year. In my hometown of Brighton, graffiti artist The Postman has unveiled a vibrantly colourful new stencil of Marilyn, based on her June 16, 1958 ‘hat sitting’ with photographer Carl Perutz in New York, shortly before she left to film Some Like It Hot in Hollywood.

Marilyn by Carl Perutz, 1958

The session was an inspiration for illustrator Jon Whitcomb in 1959, whose own painting – based on a different pose, and commissioned by a women’s magazine – was displayed in the home of Marilyn’s ex-husband Joe DiMaggio until his death, some forty years later.

Marilyn by Perutz (1958) and Jon Whitcomb (1959)

I haven’t seen this latest interpretation in person yet, but local residents can find it on Queensbury Mews, near to the seafront, the i360 Tower and Regency Square. It’s not the first time The Postman has portrayed Marilyn, either – I noticed this earlier collaboration with wordsmith broken//hartist, after Richard Avedon’s ‘Sad Marilyn,’ during Brighton Pride in August 2019.

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