The King and Marilyn... together at last

Story by Jack Foley

TWO of the biggest icons of the 20th Century have been brought together in a new exhibition of photographs at Proud Central in London.

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll combine in Elvis and Marilyn, an intimate look into the people who defined a generation - and continue to do so.

For people of all ages, the love affair with Marilyn Monroe continues unashamedly, with many still viewing her as one of the most beautiful and talented actresses of all time. Her tragic life is one that continues to inspire headline writers and novelists, while fans seldom pass up the opportunity of seeing more images of their icon.

And they are certain to be rushing to the Buckingham Street gallery in their droves, to catch a glimpse of Douglas Kirkland’s infamous shot of Marilyn wearing nothing but her Chanel No 5 and a silk sheet, which has been brought to the UK for the first time.

The photo was taken during a shoot for which Monroe dumped her entourage - and the chemistry between star and photographer is plain for all to see. Kirkland (whose website can be accessed via the link above) would later describe it as ‘extremely intimate’.

Presley, meanwhile, continues to inspire musical trends and recently returned to the top of the charts with the JXL remix of his little-known track, A Little Less Conversation, which (ironically) failed to chart when it was first released by the King himself.

Now, thanks to Nike and films such as Ocean’s Eleven (the track also features on David Holmes’s soundtrack), the King is cooler than ever and now, officially, the most successful male artist of all time.

Proud Central’s photographs feature the star in a series of provocative portraits taken throughout his career, from his time spent as a GI in Germany to his film years in Vegas. They have been taken from the famous archives of the Picture Goer magazine and the Daily Mirror.

Elvis & Marilyn, until Thursay, September 5, Proud Central, 5 Buckingham Street, WC2 (Tel: 020 7428 4949).

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