Fox presents the films of Marilyn - The Diamond Dust Collection by Simon Claridge

Fox presents the films of Marilyn - The Diamond Dust Collection by Simon Claridge

In 2014 celebrated contemporary artist Simon Claridge began a collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products - a Hollywood studio synonymous with some of the greatest films in living memory - and one of their most illustrious film stars; Marilyn Monroe.
Twentieth Century Fox Studios produced 12 iconic films starring Marilyn Monroe, 5 of which are in Marilyn’s top grossing of all time; films that subsequently launched her career and began the world’s love affair with the captivating and stunning young actress.
The six interpretations of Marilyn Monroe created for this collection are drawn from her most famous Fox movies; ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ and ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’ and the prestigious and rare collection of photography stills, test shots and outtakes from the Fox Studios’ coveted archives.  From the FOX film archives spanning decades, Claridge has created six silkscreens that capture Marilyn Monroe’s film career at 20th Century Fox.  Some, drawn from her most iconic films, will be familiar to you, whilst others, taken from never-before-seen test-shots, capture a different, less familiar side to Marilyn.

“To be able to use images from the 20th Century Fox Studio Archives is the closest I will ever be able to get to painting Marilyn for real. And that is an absolute highlight of my career.” - Simon ClaridgeThe Diamond Dust Collection by Simon Claridge adds a new dimension to the Fox and Marilyn Monroe film legacy. With this unique fine art work, Claridge’s technique builds layer upon layer of colour and shade in his work and serves conversely to peel back the layers to reveal a quality in Monroe beneath the Hollywood veneer. This feat is both testament to Claridge’s refined artistic skill, but also his personal attachment to the movies Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ and ‘How To Marry a Millionaire’, and the incurred zeal to pay respect to both the woman that she was as well as the silver screen icon that she became.The collection represents Marilyn in symbolic black and white, enveloped in what has now become Claridge’s trademark ‘diamond dust’. He manages to stay true to the universal aesthetic of Marilyn whilst portraying her in his own inimitable fashion, through the eyes of a true admirer. 

The Artist
Blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, Simon Claridge’s work captures the female form in all its splendour, with each piece meticulously considered and crafted to suspend time and evoke an emotional response from onlookers; “My goal is to leave to the viewer some tangible emotional feeling”. Claridge’s portfolio showcases a selection of popular female cultural icons throughout history – from the worlds of film, fashion, modelling and music – in glorious detail. As a renowned figurative artist, Simon Claridge has made it his raison d’être to capture images that strike a chord with his wider audience. Claridge also visually acknowledges and chronicles timeless society figures from the annals of music history, the catwalks of the fashion world as well as cinematic greats like Marilyn Monroe.

The Diamond Dust
Perhaps most famously used by Andy Warhol, Simon Claridge has since made diamond dust an elemental component of his artistic oeuvre, using it to add the glamour that his subjects command. Diamond dust elevates this body of work to an intriguing truth; no two people will view the same piece in the same way. The sheen created by the diamond dust dictates that it will reflect differently according to the light sources around it. View it in bright sunlight, in artificial light, through the beams of light cast by a setting sun, and the same piece will appear transformed. Arguably, this is fitting and appropriate to Monroe. She had so many guises, was open yet guarded, was known to so many but understood by so short, she was many different things to many different people. Herein lies the beauty of The Diamond Dust Collection by Simon Claridge, Simon Claridge has surrendered control of the artistic finish and allowed Marilyn to shine.

The Presentation 

The frames also were made to a lavish specification in keeping with the quality of the work. Hand made in the UK using kiln dried obeche wood and milled to our unique specification, the wood is sourced from fully sustainable sources and is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. Fully bespoke, the frame lengths are mitred and pinned together to accurately match the size of the artwork. The joints have “intelaggio” (silk inlays) added for strength and flexibility before the whole frame sprayed with a special formula gesso and painted to give a seamless finish. The finest 12.5 carat white gold leaf is hand laid onto the inner bevel using the finest water gilding method, and then burnished to give a solid metal appearance. Both the paint and white gold leaf colours and finishes have been selected to compliment the artwork. 
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