Like holy relics, the objects that once belonged to iconic celebrities sometimes take on a little of the magic and myth of their legendary former owners. Russian photographer Yury Toroptsov does a beautiful job of exploring this idea in the fascinating photographs of “Marilyn and I.”
In this case, the object is a vintage blue-and-white checked cotton summer dress that Marilyn Monroe wore in the 1950s, during her marriage to Arthur Miller. Toroptsov takes the dress on the road, traveling from his home in Paris to Los Angeles. Along the way, he poses this famous frock with people who still feel a strong connection to Monroe.
You’d think that posing with an inanimate object might be, well, a little stiff. Yet from portraits of French Minister of Culture Frederic Mitterrand to the president of the “Marilyn Remembered” fan club in Los Angeles to a midwife, the range and creativity of the images is remarkable.
While only one of Toroptsov’s subjects actually wears the dress (a high school student from Nice), many share their thoughts and feelings about Monroe. We think that French photographer Jérome de Almeida sums up this book’s essence just perfectly: “To hold the dress of Marilyn during the shoot was like flirting with a ghost.”