A massive statue of Marilyn Monroe is currently making her way from Palm Springs California to Hamilton New Jersey, while strapped to the back of a flatbed truck. The statue, known as ‘Forever Marilyn’, left Palm Springs on April 2nd, and made a few stops through the Southwestern United States before stopping recently in Tulsa Oklahoma for a few photos.
When fully erect, Forever Marilyn stands just over 26 feet tall and weighs more than 15 metric tons. She is a construct of aluminum and stainless steel, wearing the trademark ivory dress from The Seven Year Itch, which billows up around a set of hips that are as wide around as an AMC Pacer. Her head is cocked back, bearing a grin full of stainless steel teeth the size of frying pans, her lips painted in deep crimson, her teeth a flawlessly glossy white.
While traveling, Forever Marilyn has been separated into 4 pieces, so that she may make the cross country trip without arbitrarily flying off of the back of her transport and smashing some poor motorist into a fine paste, but the gargantuan Monroe was briefly reassembled during her stay at the Hardesty Arts Center in Downtown Tulsa for the Brady District First Friday monthly art show.
“We are thrilled that Marilyn Monroe chose to visit the Hardesty Arts Center and the Brady Arts District on her way to the East Coast.” said Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa Executive Director and CEO, Ken Busby. “We consider the city of Tulsa a regional arts destination, something any road-tripper should experience as they come through Oklahoma.”
Forever Marilyn was constructed in July 2011 by celebrated American artist and sculptor Seward Johnson. Originally built in New Jersey, Forever Marilyn was taken to Chicago, where she resided for some time in Pioneer Court as part of the Magnificent Mile section of Michigan Avenue. She was moved to Palm Springs in May 2012.
Forever Marilyn is on her way to her birthplace in New Jersey to be the centerpiece of a celebration of Seward Johnson’s life and work, happening later this year.
She will be reunited with over 150 of Seward Johnson’s disconcertingly large statues at Grounds For Sculpture, a 42 acre public sculpture garden and museum that was founded by Johnson in 1992. The retrospective of Johnson’s career is set to take place at the former New Jersey fairgrounds starting on May 4th.
Seward Johnson will be turning 84 this year.
Forever Marilyn’s tour will be taking her through the city of Chicago tonight, before heading due east. Anyone interested in following the enormous Marilyn Monroe on her way across America can check in on Twitter and Instagram using the #isawmarilyn hashtag.