Photography | Eve Arnold Retrospective – Behind the scenes with Marilyn Monroe

photo: Eve Arnold

We think we know all there is to Marilyn Monroe. But Eve Arnold’s photos shows glimpses of the actress that it would not have been possible to see without her. Arnold’s photography perfectly captures the moments that we miss, inviting to learn more about this iconic actress.

Having started photographing Monroe from 1951, this retrospective exhibition displays a range of moments in which Arnold interacted with the actress; from press conferences, studio shoots, to aeroplane interviews. The majority of the images (and the ones Arnold is best known for), however, are taken from behind the scenes of Monroe’s final film, ‘The Misfits’. The mix of black and white and colour images are all beautifully shot; Arnold had a gift for knowing exactly what angle to take the picture at, how the light would bounce off the subject, and the timing to get the perfect shot.

In these images, Marilyn is seen pulling faces, taking a break from filming, trying to learn lines, and not only do you see her taking part in such activities, but Arnold capture her mood and emotions at the time too. That small flicker of anxiety that crosses her face, a smile that reveals she is deep in thought, her pursed lips which betray some sense of discomfort. Eve Arnold somehow immortalises all these moments with the simple, well-timed click of a button. It is clear that she was very close to the actress and knew more about her than others. Her photos show a clear understanding and emotional attachment to Marilyn, the photos are not for tabloid magazines, but to show that behind the celebrity, Monroe was a human being like anyone else.

Alice Rafter



Leave a Reply