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Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe exhibition at MOCA of Jacksonville

"Life as a Legend" is showcasing the life of Marilyn Monroe at MOCA of Jacksonville until April 4.
"Life as a Legend" is showcasing the life of Marilyn Monroe at MOCA of Jacksonville until April 4.
Taken by Philippe Halsman in 1952

MOCA of Jacksonville will be showcasing Life as a Legend, an exhibition depicting the rise to stardom of Marilyn Monroe through the exhibition of 286 pieces. The exhibition creates an arc of the icon's career that begins with her rise to fame and ends with the pieces created before her untimely death. The exhibit is a wonderful chance to reflect on how the star influenced society during her time, as well as how she has come to influence modern pop culture.

The pieces, created by over 80 artists, begin with Tom Kelley’s Red Velvet Pose for Playboy and continues with the sensuous bed sheet shots, One Night with Marilyn, photographed by Douglas Kirkland. Another interesting part of the exhibition is the behind the scenes shots of the Misfits, taken by Ernst Haas. All of these photographs help to create an overall portrait of Monroe that only gets more complex as the exposition continues. Other notable artists included in the exhibit include Andy Warhol, Allen Jones, Peter Blake, Richard Avedon, Bert Stern and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

The diversity of the exhibition allows the viewer to enjoy all the facets of the charismatic Monroe through the fashion photography and Hollywood moments, as well as exploring deeper to revisit and explore the tender vulnerability of this captivating legend. Life as a Legend depicts recognizable moments in Monroe’s career, such as the famous subway grate scene in Seven Year Itch by Sam Shaw. Artists such as Andy Warhol and other more avant garde artists offer their various Marilyn interpretations as well. With such a great variety of artists' works on display, the viewer is able to see how much of an impact the blonde bombshell had on society during her peak in the 1950s.

Each piece captures the spark, sex appeal, glamour and beauty of the star from a different aspect. Through each piece, the viewer is able to replicate Marilyn Monroe in their own minds. Each work reveals a different characteristic of Monroe, and further perpetuates the mystery of what Monroe was truly like. Marilyn Monroe once said, “First, I'm trying to prove to myself that I'm a person. Then maybe I'll convince myself that I'm an actress.” Life as a Legend gives viewers the chance to see Monroe as a person separate from her acting career. People will have the chance to witness this vast collection until April 4 on the third floor of MOCA of Jacksonville.


  • Connie, Daytona Food Examiner 5 years ago

    I just heard about this on NPR. Very happy to see one of my fellow Examiners picked up the story - quite a cool exhibit for our area! :-)

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