I may have missed the main exhibition but there are still images of Marilyn Monroe taken by Eve Arnold on display at the Halcyon Gallery on New Bond Street. They make an interesting juxtaposition with the main display which is currently Lorenzo Quinn’s Metamorpheses.
The pick of the remaining pictures is a grain-filled wonder which has Marilyn at the roulette table clearly loving the moment. Eve Arnold’s portraits capture something intensely personal and here it is especially interesting in such a public (insofar as a private gambling establishment is public) place. It would be a classic without the tragic star as in its blurred black and white way it so effortlessly captures a time and a moment. And what makes it all the more remarkable is that it comes from a fractured negative. Stored badly it was folded in two when unearthed and it has been restored only by digitally scanning either side of the fold – and on Arnold’s instructions (she’s 98 now but clearly knows her own mind) the dark dividing line has been kept in and runs down the middle of the print. I simply love it.
The price however is £15,000 for what is clearly a very special limited edition. It’s worth every penny but my pennies don’t stretch to even the smaller scale £2,000 price points that are also on offer. But it’s well worth taking a breather from the rush of New Bond Street to nip in and have a look. And the Lorenzo Quinn work that is the actual draw at the minute also looks impressive – although being sculpture in the main I have less of an opinion about it.
Read about the Marilyn exhibition here.