Remembering Marilyn Monroe

US celebrity photographer Bert Stern shares his shots of Marilyn Monroe

Bert Stern
Bert Stern
‘This photograph was taken on the second day of shooting. Babs Simpson (Vogue’s sittings editor) styled her. The fur coat 
was part of the wardrobe provided by the magazine.’
‘This photograph was taken on the second day of shooting. Babs Simpson (Vogue’s sittings editor) styled her. The fur coat was part of the wardrobe provided by the magazine.’
‘‘This was taken on the last day of shooting. The Nikon she is holding is mine, she was being playful and taking pictures of me.’
‘‘This was taken on the last day of shooting. The Nikon she is holding is mine, she was being playful and taking pictures of me.’
‘This series of headshots was my attempt at capturing Monroe the way photographer Edward Steichen had captured Greta Garbo for Vanity Fair. I shot her lying on the floor with glitter and necklaces and I was standing on a chair on top of a table. Her PR girl was telling her stories, trying to make her laugh.’
‘This series of headshots was my attempt at capturing Monroe the way photographer Edward Steichen had captured Greta Garbo for Vanity Fair. I shot her lying on the floor with glitter and necklaces and I was standing on a chair on top of a table. Her PR girl was telling her stories, trying to make her laugh.’
‘The photograph is also from the headshot series. The effect is a result of toning. Originally it had to be done in the darkroom, now it’s done at the lab using the scanned negative.’
‘The photograph is also from the headshot series. The effect is a result of toning. Originally it had to be done in the darkroom, now it’s done at the lab using the scanned negative.’
1/5

In his heyday, American celebrity photojournalist Bert Stern was regarded as Hollywood’s original ‘bad boy’ photographer: he lived fast, partied hard and had friends in high places. The now frosty-haired 82-year-old may have slowed down, but his photographs have stood the test of time. Having cut his teeth as an assistant at Look Magazine (where he made friends with another young photographer by the name of Stanley Kubrick), he said he soon found his true calling when he ‘fell in love with an image by Irving Penn in Vogue magazine’. Little did he know he would later be called upon by the fashion mag stalwart to shoot one of the biggest icons of all time.

Running at JAMM Art Gallery until Thursday April 18, ‘Marilyn Monroe by Bert Stern’ features rare images of the troubled starlet taken just six weeks before she passed away in August 1962. ‘It was very sad and unexpected,’ says Stern of her untimely death. Shot at Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, Stern says he opted for a location shoot over the studio because it was more intimate. That vibe is certainly captured in one shot, in which Monroe is seen lying on a bed with Stern sitting next to her, playfully capturing their reflections in the mirror, the foreground littered with empty bottles. Here, he remembers some of the shots.

The Lowdown

Exhibition: ‘Marilyn Monroe by Bert Stern’ until April 18 at JAMM Art Gallery, Street 8, Warehouse 11, Building 19, Al Quoz 1 (050 228 8134).
Artist: Bert Stern
Price of works: Dhs95,000 to Dhs165,500

Win top prizes at Time Out Dubai’s latest Brunch Club event

The ultimate guide to the city’s brunch options every Friday

Sponsored: From the arrival to the eating, every element is an experience – and one you need to have

Sponsored: 13 award-winning eateries will be offering special menus at a brilliant price

Time Out Dubai goes behind the scenes at the brand-new restaurant on Bluewaters Island

Spanish Soccer Schools invites young footballers to register for new terms

Newsletters

Follow us