Friday, July 22, 2011

Don’t look up

The king of giant statues of celebrities and characters torn from paintings has to be Seward Johnson. He’s the guy who has made giant replicas of the two figures from Grant Wood’s American Gothic, the famous Times Square Kiss photograph and bizarre set-ups from painters with the authority of Manet and Van Gogh. But wait, there’s more. He’s also the man who was responsible for the largest sculpture of a molar in the world. 

Last week Johnson out-grossed himself (and probably the people of Chicago) by installing a giant statue of Marilyn Monroe. And not just any statue, but 15 tons of Monroe in her famous pose in the 1955 movie The Seven Year Itch. Why the people of Chicago would want an eight metre high statue revealing Monroe’s underwear to any unfortunate who looked up from her painted toenails is anyone’s guess, but they did. This monumental up-skirt set-up will be in place until 2012.
Images: Top the new Monroe sculpture. Middle left, Seward's versions of The Kiss, American Gothic (detail) and bottom Manet’s Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe and a very big tooth.