21 Famous Portraits Starring John Malkovich
A photographer recreated some of his favorite photos, substituting the actor for the original subjects.
John Malkovich gets up to some weird stuff, and most of it revolves around his own special, wonderful weirdness. He talks in a sort of other-worldly affect that defies linguistic categorization. There were those iPhone commercials (and the Twitter parody that followed). And, of course, he starred in the most meta fictional mind-screw of a movie ever conceived with Being John Malkovich.
All of this is to say that it comes as no surprise to see him dressing up in strange costumes and assuming the identities of the subjects of famous portraits for a new art project. Photographer Sandro Miller has a new photography exhibition opening at the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago on November 7, and it's called "Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich." Miller's new collection features the actor in every single image, each of which is a recreation of a famous portrait that inspired Miller. Malkovich dresses up as men, women, and children of both celebrity and civilian status. The effect is absurd, but also amazing. He really can get down in there and capture the spirit of just about anyone with those crinkling eyes and that towering forehead.
Miller gives a little bit of background on his new show in his artist's statement: "In 2013, Sandro decided to do a project honoring the men and women whose photographs helped shape his career. After selecting thirty-five images to emulate, Sandro contacted Malkovich, who instantly agreed to participate. When speaking about Malkovich, Sandro states: 'John is the most brilliant, prolific person I know. His genius is unparalleled. I can suggest a mood or an idea and within moments, he literally morphs into the character right in front of my eyes. He is so trusting of my work and our process… I’m truly blessed to have him as my friend and collaborator.'"
Check out some of the photos below and see what you think. Miller's work is always on the left with the original portrait, credited in the subhead, on the right.
1. Albert Watson: Alfred Hitchcock with Goose (1973)
2. Andy Warhol: Self Portrait (Fright Wig) (1986)
3. Alberto Korda: Che Guevara (1960)
4. Annie Leibovitz: John Lennon and Yoko Ono (1980)
5. Arthur Sasse: Albert Einstein Sticking Out His Tongue (1951)
6. Bert Stern: Marilyn in Pink Roses (from The Last Session, 1962)
7. Carl Fischer: Muhammad Ali, New York (1967)
8. David Bailey: Mick Jagger "Fur Hood" (1964)
9. Diane Arbus: Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967)
10. Dorothea Lange: Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936)
11. Edward Sheriff Curtis: Three Horses (1905)
12. Gordon Parks: American Gothic, Washington, D.C. (1942)
13. Herb Ritts: Jack Nicholson, London (1988)
14. Irving Penn: Truman Capote, New York (1948)
15. Irving Penn: Pablo Picasso, Cannes, France (1957)
16. Richard Avedon: Ronald Fisher, Beekeeper, Davis, California, May 9 (1981)
17. Robert Mapplethorpe: Self Portrait (1983)
18. Victor Skrebneski: Bette Davis, Actor, 08 November (1971)
19. Yousuf Karsh: Ernest Hemingway (1957)
20. Philippe Halsman: Salvador Dalí (1954)
21. Pierre et Gilles: Jean Paul Gaultier (1990)