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Arnold, also self-taught, related to Marilyn’s intuitive style. “We were both gamblers,” she reflected. “We both trusted ourselves and each other to carry us through.”
“Our ‘quid pro quo’ relationship, based on mutual advantage, developed into a friendship,” Eve wrote. “The bond between us was photography. She liked my pictures and was canny enough to realise that they were a fresh approach for presenting her – a looser, more intimate look than the posed studio portraits she was used to in Hollywood.”
But working with Marilyn presented unusual challenges. “A camera anywhere near her would bring out a mob,” Arnold remembered, adding, “The idea of the candid shot was impossible with her. She always knew – as though, wherever she was, whether in a dressing room, resting on a plane or walking in the desert, her own built-in mechanism sensed the camera and responded before the first click was heard.”
Though sympathetic, Arnold resisted becoming a ‘mother figure’ to Marilyn. Those who did, like Paula Strasberg, were often accused of exploiting her. “She would exhaust herself – she never held back, she never learned to save herself.”
Nonetheless, Monroe was at her most creative when being photographed. “If it is true, as some has said of her, that all her life she pursued a search for a missing person – herself –“ Arnold mused, “then perhaps Marilyn, a creature of myth and illusion, found herself not in the fleeting film image, but in the photograph, which would seem to give her concrete proof of her being.”
In late 1962, Arnold moved to London to be near her son, Frank, who had enrolled at an English boarding school. They arrived just as the coldest winter in a century began. “We were not used to the gloom,” Eve admitted. “We were accustomed to overheated rooms and changing seasons that brightened the year...The endless grey and chill days of England seemed like a punishment and added to our sadness at the sudden changes in our lives.”
One of the last assignments she completed before leaving the US was a profile of Malcolm X and the Black Muslims. Though ‘Life’ considered the subject matter too controversial, the photos were published in ‘Esquire’, and syndicated worldwide.
Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Arnold worked frequently on stories for the ‘Sunday Times’ colour supplement. Eve’s editor, Harold Evans, agreed that her time on any project should not exceed six months per year, so that she could spend time with her son.
“By then Eve was established as a key member of the magazine team alongside Snowdon and Don McCullin,” recalled her art director, Michael Rand. “Immensely versatile, her input was a surprising mix of grit and glamour and that was her strength.”
At the height of the Cold War, Eve made two long trips to the USSR in 1965 and ’66, and her wealth of pictures spanned thirty features. Then in 1969-70, she made a documentary, ‘Behind the Veil’, exploring the daily lives of women in the Middle East.
In the mid-1970s, Eve befriended the teenage Beeban Kidron, who became her assistant for a time. “Before she went on trips Eve would fill notebook after notebook with research and thoughts about the place she was going,” Kidron (now an acclaimed film director) told Brigitte Lardinois in 2009. “Her return would be a whirlwind of developing, sorting and printing – never jet-lagged, she would often work into the night.”
A harrowing trip in 1973 made Eve ill for months afterward. Devastated by the poverty and racism she had witnessed, she told the BBC’s John Tusa, “I came back from four months in South Africa, absolutely shattered. And my GP sent me to a heart man, and I went, and he prescribed something, I came back, and still it went on for months. And he said the only way I can describe it, is that you are suffering from a broken heart. It was such an emotional reaction. But it was a hellish time for everybody in South Africa.”
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In 1979, aged 67, Eve embarked on another ambitious project. Published as ‘In China’, her best-selling book “captured a vast nation on the brink of momentous change.” Her other books include ‘Unretouched Woman’ (1976); ‘The Great British’ (1991); a memoir, ‘In Retrospect’ (1995); and ‘Film Journal’ (2001).
During the 1990s, Eve – then in her eighties – became a “very active” vice-president of Magnum Photos. In 2003, she was made an OBE by Queen Elizabeth II (whom she had photographed in the late 1960s.)
“Photographs are not made in a vacuum,” Arnold wrote in 1987. “The person before the lens is inseparable from the process.” Perhaps it was Eve’s compassion, as well as her unflinching eye, that made her such an outstanding photographer, of Marilyn Monroe and many others.
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John Rendall (right) and Ace Bourke (left) carry Christian the Lion down King's Road in London, England. The reaction to us buying Christian, remembers Ace, was universally: 'You've both gone mad, and it's quite dangerous, and you're stupid, and it'll end in tears.