Let’s Make Our Own Marilyn

"Forever Marilyn" statue in Palm Springs

By Editor Jackie Devereaux

By Editor Jackie Devereaux

The “Forever Marilyn” statue is leaving Palm Springs Sept. 10. After that, her fate is up for grabs to the highest bidder. So far Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong are bidding for her. Palm Springs also is vying for her to come back in December 2015.

Aftab Dada, chairman of P.S. Resorts raised $78,000 from local businesses to bring “Forever Marilyn” to Palm Springs last year and he has made an offer to the Sculpture Foundation in Santa Monica for her return.

“We don’t have a (permanent) location for her because of the construction at the Desert Fashion Plaza,” Dada said in a telephone interview. Dada would not reveal the amount he offered for the statue saying it was “confidential and could not be disclosed,” but I bet it’s a hefty price tag.

"Forever Marilyn" statue in Palm Springs

“Forever Marilyn” statue in Palm Springs

Our Coachella Valley is fortunate to have an enormous amount of talented artists living here. I can think of several local world-class sculptors off the top of my head that could design and build our own Marilyn Monroe statue. We have Christopher Georgesco, Roger Hopkins, Karen and Tony Barone, Patrick Blythe, Tolley Marney, Gesso Cocteau and John Neumann.

I propose we form a committee of these local sculptors to come up with a number of design plans, propose them to the City of Palms Springs and P.S. Resorts, chose one and build our own. Let’s keep those millions of dollars here locally and have a Marilyn Monroe statue all our own.

Some may argue that you cannot get a group of artists to agree on any one design. I think differently. I have met and interviewed nearly all of the sculptors noted above and think if we offered this unique opportunity to them, they would all jump at the chance. This project would be something so big and so important that no one would want to be left out. If I were a sculptor (and I have fantasized about being one since childhood), I would jump at the chance to work with a group of my peers.


“Forever Marilyn” statue being constructed in Palm Springs (Photo courtesy of Sarah Scheideman)

The 26 ft. tall, 34,3OO lbs. sculpture was made by American artist Seward Johnson inspired by a famous photograph taken by Bernard of Hollywood. Johnson unveiled “Forever Marilyn” in Chicago for its international debut last year. “Forever Marilyn” belongs to the series entitled, ICONS REVISITED and The Sculpture Foundation, which is handling all her affairs, is planning to build two more replicas. Why can’t we build our own?

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