Marilyn Monroe & JFK
Posted on February 23, 2013
These arresting photographs initially seem to be images of Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy sharing intimate moments from the night Monroe performed ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ on Saturday, May 19th 1962 at a celebration held for JFK’s 45th birthday at Madison Square Garden.
The truth is somewhat different. These photographs, which have been circulating the net for quite some time now, are in fact staged paparazzi shots using look-alikes by English artist and photographer Alison Jackson.
In her work Jackson says,
‘Likeness becomes real and fantasy touches on the believable. The viewer is suspended in disbelief. I try to highlight the psychological relationship between what we see and what we imagine. This is bound up in our need to look – our voyeurism – and our need to believe.’
‘Jackson’s work causes controversy because it threatens to cross the line between the private and public life of our contemporary icons. Because we unquestionably accept the authenticity of a photograph, it would appear we are being given a glimpse of something confidential, a private moment. Upon closer examination, we question the reality of the image and hopefully this makes us question our unwitting tendency to believe everything we see in the media today.’
- Taschen Books