26-Foot Marilyn Monroe on Michigan Avenue?

Half of a mysterious new sculpture strikes quite a resemblance to a certain Golden Age Hollywood starlet

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dominic Trombino
    The giant legs that appeared on Michigan Avenue mystify tourists and locals alike.

    Anyone taking a stroll down Michigan Avenue after 10 p.m. Monday was met with quite a surprise -- a towering pair of legs in Pioneer Court.

    The legs are half of a new, 26-foot sculpture being installed by New Jersey based Seward Johnson and The Sculpture Foundation.

    The rest of Johnson's new piece will be unveiled Friday. And while there is speculation about whether the iconic legs -- complete with flowing skirt being blown up by a subway grate -- indeed belong to Marilyn Monroe, the group that commissioned the instillation is tight-lipped on her identity.

    Melissa Farrell, an executive assistant for Zeller Realty Group, said the group is keeping the identity under wraps to work up buzz and get people talking about the artwork.

    Downtown workers and tourists probably remember Johnson for his large "American Gothic"-inspired sculpture, titled "God Bless America," in the same Pioneer Court location in 2008. The following year, a sculpture depicting Shakespeare's King Lear took the spot.

    "His art starts a conversation," Farrell said of why Zeller Realty Group has gone to Johnson for their art instillations. "People love it or hate it, but they're talking about it."

    The mystery sculpture, of which Farrell denied to comment on the identity, will be on display until the Spring of 2012.