Marilyn Monroe in Chicago?

This is kind of odd, I think….. a 26-foot statue of Marilyn Monroe replicating her famous subway scene in “The Seven Year Itch,” will be unveiled this Friday at 7:00p.m. on Chicago’s Pioneer Court.  As of today the statue, by New Jersey based artist Seward Johnson is half-complete with the lower part of Monroe’s body viewable. Visitors to the plaza will see her legs, her iconic white sandals, and the skirt of her white dress as it blows in the wind exposing her “hot” panties.  The top part of the statue is carefully wrapped in a patriotic red, white and blue cloth.

Johnson, born in 1930, is famous for his trompe l’oeil painted bronze statues that although criticized for being kitsch always draw attention and controversy.  The artist’s work appears around the globe including a 25-foot version of “Unconditional Surrender,” the V-J kiss in Times Square.  Chicagoans may remember Johnson’s famous “American Gothic” sculpture that graced Pioneer Court in 2008 or his King Lear statue that spent the summer and fall of 2009 in the same spot.

The statue is located just south of the Tribune Tower in Pioneer Court at 400 N. Michigan. Visitors are welcome to view and take pictures of this striking piece of public art. Zeller Realty Group, is responsible for Pioneer Court’s installations. For more pictures of the Marilyn Monroe bronze go to the home page of WGN radio The statue is expected to remain in place through Spring of 2012.