Mon­roe makes bed, lies in it

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Art - Tanya MacNaughton

YOU might not be fa­mil­iar with Dou­glas Kirk­land by name but you prob­a­bly are with his photography; in par­tic­u­lar, his im­age of Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe.

“In 1961 Look Mag­a­zine was turn­ing 25 years old and they wanted Mar­i­lyn to star in that is­sue,” There Is gallery owner Melissa Lekias said.

“A 27-year-old Dou­glas was ap­pointed to shoot her and in the end Mar­i­lyn was the one to take charge.

“She said ‘I know what we need. We need a bed, and we need white silk sheets – they must be silk – Frank Si­na­tra records and Dom Perignon cham­pagne’.

“From this point these im­ages be­come iconic for Dou­glas.”

Lekias has worked with Kirk­land on photo shoots in Perth and New York, de­vel­op­ing a friend­ship with the LAbased pho­tog­ra­pher and his wife Fran­coise, and de­cided it was time to ex­hibit his works in Aus­tralia in Icons and Idols.

The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tures 22 lim­ited edi­tion prints of Kirk­land’s work, who went on to pho­to­graph ev­ery­one from Mick Jag­ger, John Len­non and Sophia Loren to Au­drey Hep­burn, Michael Jack­son, Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio dur­ing his 60-year ca­reer.

“I re­ally ad­mire the way he cap­tures the essence of the per­son and the sub­tle nu­ances of their char­ac­ter that his im­ages con­vey, which re­ally bring them to life,” Lekias said.

“As a pho­tog­ra­pher he has a unique ca­pac­ity to engage with his sub­jects, which I feel is re­flected in the fi­nal im­age.”

Lekias said her favourite Kirk­land pho­to­graph was of Brigitte Bar­dot asleep in a car be­cause it was shot long ago but looked like it could have been taken to­day.

“The feel of the shot has such a con­tem­po­rary vibe and I think that she still has a look in this shot that peo­ple would aspire to,” she said.

“She has the qual­ity of a style icon, which I love.”

Lekias said it had been dif­fi­cult to nar­row Kirk­land’s vast body of work down to 22 im­ages.

It came down to pulling to­gether some icons and idols that had stood the test of time, af­fect­ing pop­u­lar cul­ture across mu­sic, art and fash­ion.

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