Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Visioneer’s Gallery: Marilyn Reinvented
An extraordinary new exhibit of Bert Stern’s photos of Marilyn Monroe at Milk Studios in Manhattan
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
Bert Stern and I share an incredible working relationship that spans over 50 years. Way back in 1962 when I had just set up Duggal as a photo lab, I processed and developed Bert's photo rolls from the now historic "Last Sitting" photo shoot, where he shot over 2,500 photographs of Marilyn Monroe over three days for Vogue magazine. Taken only six weeks before her tragic death, the photos are "the last visible evidence of the living woman" and "…distinguished by an almost claustrophobic intimacy between photographer and muse." Many of the photographs from the shoot were never printed or shown to the public, until Bert discovered them in a box almost 40 years later. After making this surprising discovery in his collection, Stern brought the 40-year-old negatives to Duggal to see if we could help restore them to their original glory. My team of expert digital retouchers and editors worked with him for months to ensure that all damage to the pictures was repaired while keeping original details in the pictures intact. We printed these photographs as fine-art limited-edition prints. It was extraordinary to be part of a 40-year-long journey of an icon's narrative, a story that's still influencing pop culture 50 years after Marilyn passed on. I thrive on connecting art with technology at my company, so the symbolic leap that we made from printing the first set in 1962 using conventional techniques—from developing and processing to the contact sheet to the dark room to helping reintroduce the same photographs to the world as a result of almost 100% digital production all the way from scanning to printing—was truly remarkable.
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