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MILTON H GREENE MARILYN MONROE

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The artist

Lowell Riley was first and foremost a major fan of boxing champion Cassius Clay. Armed with his camera, he stood out among the supporters. He was soon spotted by Herbert Muhammad and hired as the star's official photographer. This was America in the sixties and Cassius Clay was at the height of his career. The artist followed him in the ring and in his daily life. Present for all of the big moments in the champion's life, he was also there for his induction ceremony as part of the Nation of Islam, following which he was to be renamed Muhammad Ali. In short, Lowell Riley took many historic pictures and found complete fulfilment, making a life from his art. Photography was his dream and he was able to realise it with the superstar of boxing. After the champion's death, he was to fondly remember Muhammad Ali as a generous man in private and charismatic in public. "People simply wanted to be around Ali", he confided. Riley had no contract and didn't even know how he would be paid. It mattered little to him as his passion was his lifeblood.  ... See more See less

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About the artwork

Milton Greene met Marilyn Monroe for the first time on a shoot for Look magazine. They became friends and a strong bond of trust was established between them. In front of Milton Greene’s lens, Marilyn Monroe is shown in a different light. She is no longer only a sex symbol or pin-up: the woman of a thousand faces emerges. He was to take hundreds of photos of the star. Here, she stares into the lens and a mature, confident woman appears, stronger and more independent than ever.

Artwork details

Date photograph was taken

15 October 2019

Artwork subject

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