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Lita Grey (born Lillita Louise MacMurray) was Charlie Chaplin‘s second wife. They originally met when she was six-years-old and he was in his twenties, then when she was twelve, she played “the Flirting Angel” in his film The Kid. They were reunited when she was fifteen and cast in the romantic leading female role in The Gold Rush. However, she would eventually quit the film when she got pregnant with the first of their two sons. They married when she was sixteen and he was thirty-five.
In her Chaplin biography, Joyce Milton claimed that their marriage (which was highly publicized) was the inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov‘s Lolita.
This series seeks to explore the ways teen girls are depicted as sexual provocateurs or in Nabokov’s word “nymphets.” I played around with the pop icon image from the 50s adaptation of Lolita by Kubrick, as well as kept the image and personal presence of Lita Grey always in the frame.