Just Above Sunset
Volume 5, Number 10
March 11, 2007

Nightmare Hollywood

 The world as seen from Just Above Sunset -

"Notes on how things seem from out here in Hollywood..."

Sometimes the images on Hollywood Boulevard are just disturbing. The glamour turns sinister, or grotesque. Someone added a dab of yellow to the eye of Norma Shearer here, and that changed everything. ("Shearer was extremely beautiful, although care was taken in photographing her because she had a lazy eye.")

Norma Shearer image on roll-up door on Hollywood Bouelvard

Take the famous iconic image of Marilyn Monroe from Billy Wilder's 1955 The Seven Year Itch, and render it in bronze, and make it both hyper-realistic physically, with the muscle definition in the leg and the odd kneecaps and the sagging breasts, and a little "off" as the face is too square and the shoulders too masculine, roll it out in front of the Hollywood Museum in the old Max Factor Building, and you get a bit of unsettling surrealism.

The Sculpted Beauty by Domenico Neri

About the statue -

    On October 26th 2006 the bronze statue of Marilyn Monroe, the work of Domenico Neri, the founder of Neri S.p.A., was inaugurated at the Hollywood Museum of Los Angeles.

    The ceremony saw the participation of numerous personalities from the world of culture and the cinema and was a moment of particular intensity and emotion for all who took part. During the ceremony the Municipal Authorities of Los Angeles and Hollywood, as well as the Italian consular representative in Los Angeles, General Diego Brasioli, sent their greetings.

    The donation and the organization of the event, in fact, took place as part of a week dedicated to Italian culture, organized in collaboration with the Italian General Consulate with the patronage of the Italian Government and the Region of Emilia Romagna.

    The statue, donated to the Museum by Neri S.p.A. and the fruit of long and passionate work by the artist, immortalizes the actress made famous by the film "Seven Year Itch," conserving for ever the diva's unforgettable fascination.

    Domenico Neri has for years been dedicating himself to sculpture with increasing commitment, realizing bronze works which have been the subject of various exhibitions and which now constitute the Fondo Permanente di Scultura Domenico Neri, donated in 2003 to the Municipality of Longiano.

    The location in Hollywood of his work dedicated to Marilyn Monroe, on the occasion of the eightieth anniversary of the celebrated actress's birth, constitutes an important recognition of his work as an artist, alongside his achievements as an industrialist and the founder of one of the best established companies in the sector of urban illumination and décor.

It it titled "The Sculpted Beauty."

And Orson Welles tires to be serious, while staring down at Oscar Levant's star in the sidewalk.

Orson Welles tires to be serious, while staring down at Oscar Levant's star in the sidewalk.

If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me.

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.

[Nightmare Hollywood]

Last updated Saturday, March 10, 2007, 10:30 pm Pacific Time

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 - Alan M. Pavlik