The year was 1982, the place was my retouching studio at 45 West 45th Street, Manhattan. I was given a series of c-prints to dust-spot (a limited form of retouching), and they were of Marilyn Monroe. Being 26 years old, and seeing the 36-year old beauty in what I considered to be fatigued condition (Marilyn had undergone gall-bladder surgery shortly before the photo-shoot), I took pity on her, and the liberty of blending a bit under her eyes with my extra-fine Winsor Newton paintbrush. The series was shot by Manhattan photographer Bert Stern a couple of weeks before Marilyn passed away, in 1962. Many of those shots were re-printed at Fabucolor Lab, a place where professional art and commercial photographers either printed their own work or had someone do it for them. Also that year, thanks to Fabucolor Lab, I worked on the Subway Series by Bruce Davidson, which subsequently became well-known.
©M-J de Mesterton 2012