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New book puts focus on Marilyn

A photograph in David Wills’ collection of Marilyn Monroe.
A photograph in David Wills’ collection of Marilyn Monroe. Contributed

DAVID Wills is an author, curator, photographic preservationist and editor who has accrued one of the world's largest independent archives of original photographs, negatives and transparencies.

"As a child I had a ravenous passion for film and photography.

"I read anything I could find on the subject.

"Later, I began to collect original photographs and camera negatives. It kind of developed from there," he said.

His extensive collection led to the production of his latest book, Marilyn Monroe Metamorphosis.

"The book chronicles a 20-year period of her adult life from 1942 (the year she married her first husband) to 1962 (the year she passed away)," he said.

"I wanted to bring together many of her more notable photographers - Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Milton Greene, Andre De Dienes - to document the extraordinary relationship she had with the camera.

The result is a coffee table book of 320 pages that features many never-before seen or published images."

David yearned to produce a book on the blonde bombshell for quite some time, but "she's a tough one as so much has already been published".

"I had quite a large archive of material on her, as well as working relationships with many of her photographers, so I thought 2012, the 50th anniversary of her passing, would be a great time to publish it," he said.

Time Magazine named David's book one of the 10 most stylish books of 2011 and he's working on his fifth book, Audrey in the Sixties.

"The Marilyn book has done very well internationally, so my publisher asked if I would be interested to do a follow up with another iconic actress.

"Audrey Hepburn seemed an obvious choice," he said.

"The books are very meticulous and time-consuming, but creatively rewarding."

David lives between Caloundra and Los Angeles and is the son of Ralph and Fay Wills, of Caloundra.

Topics:  book david wills marilyn monroe photography



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