Inside Burn With Desire, the New Exhibit Bringing Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol and Sophia Loren to Toronto

Burn With Desire
Photography courtesy of the Black Star Collection/Ryerson Image Centre
Burn With Desire
Photography courtesy of the Black Star Collection/Ryerson Image Centre

See photos from the Burn with Desire exhibit »

The double-edged benefit of living in a big city is that there’s always something to see. So much so, that often those things are more like hidden gems than name-in-lights events. Case in point: Ryerson Image Centre’s just-opened exhibition, Burn with Desire: Photography and Glamour, which houses some of the most legendary names in pop culture within its unassuming campus walls.

Exploring the glamour of Hollywood portraits in their many modes, the exhibit features photographs of Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Joan Crawford and Gloria Swanson, which are juxtaposed by their many artistic critiques. “What is glamour?” seems to be the question woven-through, which is answered with works by Cindy Sherman, Mickelene Thomas and Andy Warhol’s famed Marilyn series. (Thomas’s work highlights women of colour as latter day idols of the white-dominated golden age, Sherman places herself in the spotlight, while Warhol famously compared matinee idols with soup cans.)

Highlights of the exhibit also include films by Kenneth Anger, Alex Prager and Richard Avedon, whose offbeat advertising for Japanese label Jun Rope circa 1973 self-parodies with help from Anjelica Huston, Lauren Hutton and Jean Shrimpton.

Elsewhere in the centre, companion exhibits Anti-Glamour and the experimental film Seaview (2014), by Zinnia Naqvi are featured as well.

Burn with Desire: Photography and Glamour runs through April 5, 2015. For more information, visit ryerson.ca/ric.