For nearly a decade, an image of actress Marilyn Monroe has been catching the eyes of those who pass the northeast corner of 20th Street and Indian School Road in Phoenix. The mural-sized rendition of the late sex symbol languishes for more than 30 feet on a black background on the west side of a building currently occupied by Truckmasters, and although many are familiar with it, nobody seems to know why it’s there or who put it there.
One version offered me a few years ago is that the owner of a motorcycle shop on that corner wanted to paint a sign on the building, advertising his business but couldn’t get a permit from the city. So he commissioned the painting of Marilyn instead because it was a mural, not a sign. The cycle shop is now vacant and nobody in the two adjacent business places seems to know about her origins.
The signature under the painting merely says “Medina ’02” but there no other clues.