Lana del Rey, Marilyn Monroe and other women of the 50s – A baseline study [PLUS: Alex Prager]

Is it cool or is it fake? People on both sides of the Atlantic discuss the Lana del Rey phenomenon. Consider her as a guilty pleasure or a true artist. Maybe she’s both. And she was one of the most controversial musical guest on famous US Saturday Night Live. Even causing a sketch about her in one of the following episodes. The fake Lana said:

“No serious musician would ever change their name, except maybe for Sting, Cher, Elton John, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, everyone else in hip-hop, and of course, Bob Dylan.” [source]

Marilyn Monroe did the same. Turned from Norma Jean to Marilyn. Life Magazine recently discovered (in their archives) some unreleased photos of her career’s early years. One on the top of this post. The others here at Life Magazin.

And the British Daily Mail put out some never before seen pictures from the set of “Some Like It Hot”. Her 1959 movie with co-star Tony Curtis.


The look of this Lana del Rey’s home-made video (we know, people discuss the fact if it actually is) resembles the look of those 1950’s photos. Is this another step in the new rediscovering of the clean 1950s in the United States? There was no finacial crisis, no war in Vietnam or anywhere else. Another example is the great success of the “Mad Men” TV series about a marketing agency set back then.

To get back to the future we take a look at the STATE OF THE ART PHOTOGRAPHY exhibition in Duesseldorf in western Germany. Running from February 4 to May 6, 2012 it presents state of the art artists. People like Alex Prager, courtesy of the Artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery. The photo below is called “Barbara” and part of her 2009 Week-End series. Another role model look.

Alex Prager is a filmmaker and photographer based in Los Angeles and New York City. This is her website. More photos and also videos there. And she’s on Twitter, too:



More information on the STATE OF THE ART PHOTOGRAPHY exhibition via this link.

And now your opinion: Apart from looking good, is there another dimension of looking back to the past? Was it better back then or do we just glorify the 1950s on both sides of the Atlantic? A comment below, please…



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