21 Famous Portraits Starring John Malkovich

A photographer recreated some of his favorite photos, substituting the actor for the original subjects.

Sandro Miller recreated influential portraits, substituting John Malkovich for his subject.
Sandro Miller recreated influential portraits, substituting John Malkovich for his subject.
Sandro Miller

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)

John Malkovich

2. Andy Warhol: Self Portrait (Fright Wig) (1986)

John Malkovich

3. Alberto Korda: Che Guevara (1960)

John Malkovich

4. Annie Leibovitz: John Lennon and Yoko Ono (1980)

John Malkovich

5. Arthur Sasse: Albert Einstein Sticking Out His Tongue (1951)

John Malkovich

6. Bert Stern: Marilyn in Pink Roses (from The Last Session, 1962)

John Malkovich

7. Carl Fischer: Muhammad Ali, New York (1967)

John Malkovich

8. David Bailey: Mick Jagger "Fur Hood" (1964)

John Malkovich

9. Diane Arbus: Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967)

John Malkovich

10. Dorothea Lange: Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936)

John Malkovich

11. Edward Sheriff Curtis: Three Horses (1905)

John Malkovich

12. Gordon Parks: American Gothic, Washington, D.C. (1942)

John Malkovich

13. Herb Ritts: Jack Nicholson, London (1988)

John Malkovich

14. Irving Penn: Truman Capote, New York (1948)

John Malkovich

15. Irving Penn: Pablo Picasso, Cannes, France (1957)

John Malkovich

16. Richard Avedon: Ronald Fisher, Beekeeper, Davis, California, May 9 (1981)

John Malkovich

17. Robert Mapplethorpe: Self Portrait (1983)

John Malkovich

18. Victor Skrebneski: Bette Davis, Actor, 08 November (1971)

John Malkovich

19. Yousuf Karsh: Ernest Hemingway (1957)

John Malkovich

20. Philippe Halsman: Salvador Dalí (1954)

John Malkovich

21. Pierre et Gilles: Jean Paul Gaultier (1990)

John Malkovich

I write about movies for Zimbio.com, which means I spend way too much time thinking about the geekiest possible ways to approach the cineplex. I'm also hopelessly addicted to audio books. Follow me: Google
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