TALL ASK: An artist’s mock-up of what the statue will look like when placed in the piazza at Rosalind Park next week. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDBendigo will be under the watchful eye of an eight-metretall, 15-tonne woman from Monday.
The gargantuan guardian, a metalsculpture of Marilyn Monroe, will take pride of place in the Rosalind Park piazza for five months while the Bendigo ArtGallery hostsan exhibition dedicated to the screen icon.
American artist Seward Johnson constructed his mammoth Forever Marilynstatue in 2011 and,after stints inChicago, Palm Springs and New Jersey, gallery spokesperson Sandra Bruce said this was the first time the sculpture wouldbe seen outside the United States.
She said Johnson’s creation wouldbe an unmissable reminder of the coming exhibition, for which the firstdisplay items arrive next month beforeopening on March 5.
Asked whether the film starwould look out of place in Bendigo, Ms Bruce was confident in Marilyn’s appeal, citing the success of the gallery’s 2012Grace Kellyexhibit.
Tell us what you think about the Marilyn statue coming to Rosalind Park next week.Tell us what you think about the Marilyn statue coming to Rosalind Park next week.
“One thing that Marilyn’s got, she’s got a broad, worldwide awareness,” she said.
“Why not go all out and bring one of the most famous identities of all time to Bendigo?”
But the statue hasnot always received a warmwelcome on its travels.
American film critic Richard Roeper was scathing in his assessment ofForever Marilyn andthe crude behaviour it elicited frompassers-by.
“Men (and women) licking Marilyn’s leg, gawking up her skirt, pointing at her giant panties as they leer and laugh,” he said at the time.
STARSTRUCK: Sandra Bruce looks up to the Marilyn poster at Bendigo Art Gallery. Both will be dwarfed by the piazza statue. Picture: NONI HYETT
Ms Bruce expected similar behaviour from onlookers in Bendigo, but hoped people would be respectful.
“The Australian public hasthat potential to be larrikin,” she said.
“And really, we don’t have a problem with that as long as they don’t try to damage it because she’s not ours and we do have to give her back at the end of the five months.
“You can’t really reach up above her knees anyway, that’s how tall she is.”
CCTV will monitor the blonde bombshell, while the gallery hadorganised for her to be lit up after the sun goes down.
“Public art is 90 percent less likely to be vandalised if it’s lit,” Ms Bruce said.
“She’ll have nice, dramatic lighting on her all night.”
Picture: Bendigo Art Gallery Instagram
Even though curious onlookers couldgaze up the screen siren’s skirt, Ms Bruce said Marilyn’s modesty wouldremain intact: the statue is wearingunderwear.
“She’s wearing what you would call cottontails these days,” she said.
“It’s very true to the time.”
Drivers should expect delays throughoutthe installation as crates containing the statue’s piecesare transported down View Street.
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