SAINT MONROE

Photo montage made for light boxes and prints on metal. Based on Photography by Thomas Dellert depicting a Marilyn Monroe looking woman played by actress and artist Agniezka Dellert-Dellfina and archive material from the FBI files and the Monroe vault of information on the net.

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Photography and Photo Montage
by Thomas Dellert
for small Light Boxes
by order only

Saint Monroe

Marilyn Monroe is portrayed in newly taken photos and In the form of photo montages, by a look-alike actress and artist Agnieszka Dellert-Dellfina the former wife and artistic partner of Thomas Dellert-Dellacroix. All the Monroe looking photos was taken during their collaboration time as Dellacroix and Dellfina and have been exhibited alone as single photographs in the art exhibit titled X-Posed and as part of the exhibit and upcoming book titled Self Portraits of Others.

These images are now mounted in dream-like layers in combination with archive material of John F. Kennedy as well as other men surrounding Marilyn’s both glamorous and tragic life, such as Joe DiMaggio, Arthur Miller, Frank Sinatra and Robert Kennedy.

We see Marilyn as an ‘all-American product’: The everlasting Hollywood icon and myth versus the private persona, abused woman and mortal. We also see her as a sex bomb and the fact is that she died the same day the USSR made an atomic bomb test. She lived and loved, laughed and cried all in front of the bright, brutal lights of camera flashes. The world looked upon her as a goddess but in reality she was a misfit: on the screen she was like champagne on ice, but off camera she was more like a broken porcelain doll. In retrospect she has become an American export product, like Coca Cola and Cadillac.

This exhibit is not about Marilyn Monroe the movie star. It is about an American dream in an era of Cold War politics with its images of a woman who was abused and then murdered. She just happened to be famous and moving around in powerful circles, which eventually killed her when they felt she had become a ‘national security risk’. In more than one way it reminds us of Princess Lady Diana Spencer, who in a very similar way had to pay the highest price for her own life in the world spotlight. The photo montages are loose in time: past, present and future becomes one. Marilyn is mourning at her own funeral or playing her part in a heavenly comedy. The assassinations of Jack and Bobby are premonitions in her nightmares.

Physically, some of the images of the fake Monroe in these art works resemble those taken of the actress at the time but are used very carefully and consciously just as flavours in a complex personal composition. As the real Marilyn Monroe was a made up character, the real person behind the made up name, the makeup and the wigs was an insecure person longing for real love and confirmation by the name of Norma Jean Baker-Mortensen. The Marilyn on these art works are neither less real or more fake than the one we call Marilyn Monroe. Monroe here is more a metaphor for the American dream and nightmare at the same time. One minute she is a statue of sexual liberty, the other an abused victim by men in power. She plays both the parts of power slave and marketing master. Ever since Marilyn became a contemporary Mona Lisa, a symbol of a mysterious beauty hiding the truth behind a smiling façade, she has been used and misused in art and advertisement over and over again, unfortunately often having been flattened and simplified.

Marilyn said herself: “I love to sleep, because at least then I can dream.” In these photo montages, the artist has tried to tell the story behind the official story, the more private Marilyn displaying loneliness and sadness, reflection, hopes and dreams. Still after almost half a century after her death, Marilyn is still an embodiment of stardom. It is probably because she gave to the camera more than any other person ever did.

The Saint Monroe project also have a more private and personal story to tell at the same time, as an extra layer. The story of the artist and his relationship with the woman who became his own Marilyn if only for a flickering second in eternity.