Chicagoans reconsider public art after peeking up Marilyn Monroe's dress

July 18, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(Flickr/Joshua Mellin)
Eight Forty-Eight went downtown to find out what the people of Chicago think of the new Marilyn Monroe statue.

On Friday, a new public art installation at the Tribune Tower was revealed: A 26-foot statue of Marilyn Monroe by artist Seward Johnson. Forever Marilyn replaces his previous work, the American Gothic-inspired sculpture God Bless America.

Eight Forty-Eight stopped by to see how Chicagoans and visitors reacted to the work, which takes off on the actress’ iconic billowing-skirt moment from the Seven Year Itch. The statue definitely raised a lot of questions: Why Marilyn? Why in Chicago? And for younger visitors—Marilyn who?

Chicago’s public art certainly features plenty for both art lovers and casual observers. Public art engenders public activity – as places to gather, take photos and feel connected to the city. The Chicago Tribune’s Lauren Viera joined Eight Forty-Eight to assess some of the art in Chicago’s public spaces.