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Chicago's 'beyond-kitschy' Marilyn Monroe statue
"Forever Marilyn," a 26-foot-tall monument to an iconic New York film, is unveiled along proud Chicago's Magnificent Mile
A 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe, by artist J. Seward Johnson, is based on a scene from the movie "Seven Year Itch," and will be on display in Chicago until next spring.
A 26-foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe, by artist J. Seward Johnson, is based on a scene from the movie "Seven Year Itch," and will be on display in Chicago until next spring.
REUTERS/Jim Young
T

he video: Chicago already has a reputation for head-turning public sculptures, from the giant Picasso artwork gracing Daley Plaza to Anish Kapoor's mirror-clad "Bean" in Millennium Park. And as of last Friday, you can add Marilyn Monroe to the list. A 26-foot-tall statue of the iconic sex symbol, lace panties on full display under her billowy-skirt from The Seven Year Itch, sits smack in the middle of Chicago's Magnificent Mile. The J. Seward Johnson work, "Forever Marilyn," is a hit with tourists. (Watch reactions below.) But locals are having a decidedly more mixed reaction. The larger-than-life Marilyn is slated to stay up until spring 2012. 

The reaction: "Marilyn's making us look bad," or maybe we're making her look bad, ogling the "beyond-kitschy" statue, gawking up her skirt, and licking her legs, says Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times. The worst part is that the "hideous" blight on a beautiful stretch of our city celebrates a film moment that has nothing to do with Chicago. Why not Blues Brothers? Ferris Bueller? Seriously, "did we lose a bet" with New York? Methinks Chicago "doth protest too much," says Carole Brewer in ChicagoNow. Not everyone is a fan of the resurrected sex symbol, but love her or not, she's "doing what public art is intended to do — to get us talking." See for yourself:

 

 

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