Archives for posts with tag: iconic portraits

It is said that art is often an honest reflection of societal issues at large. History shows that for centuries art has been a sort of barometer, documenting larger issues through the lens of the artist. This certainly holds true for the work of Italian artist Alessandro Rabatti. His series Facebank serves as commentary for the very uncertain financial state of the world today, with a humorous bent, of course. Rabatti alters iconic faces on currency (related posts here and here and here) from around the world, “disguising” them as fictional superheroes. Despite the seemingly fun nature of these pieces, Rabatti’s intent and message is likely much deeper. For one, by altering the faces of these historical figures to look like familiar comic book characters with a rich (albeit fictional) history of their own, Rabatti remarks on their economic and political status, looking to them as possible “saviors” of the global economic crisis. There is an implied trust in these figures, both real and fictional, so the dialogue Rabatti initiates with this series could really go on and on. Oh, and these works are just plain cool looking. From conception to execution, we’d say Rabatti has creative super powers of his own.

Via alessandrorabatti.com

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In honor of the fashionable social media practice of late, we are going to dip our toes in the “Throwback Thursday” pool….

Famed portrait photographer Philippe Halsman had a way with people, which certainly helped him build a body of iconic photography work. His conceptual approach to a medium that had been, up until then, largely used to capture reality was groundbreaking at the time. His collaboration in the late 1940s with surrealist artist Salvador Dali resulted in some of his most notable works. He later delved into perhaps his most famous series, Jump, in which he photographed movie stars, politicians, entertainers, artists, and authors to jump before his camera. In his own words, the late Halsman comments: “Starting in the early 1950s I asked every famous or important person I photographed to jump for me. I was motivated by a genuine curiosity. After all, life has taught us to control and disguise our facial expressions, but it has not taught us to control our jumps. I wanted to see famous people reveal in a jump their ambition or their lack of it, their self-importance or their insecurity, and many other traits.”

Via philippehalsman.com

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Celebrity portraiture is a fascinating niche. We love seeing another side of these familiar (and often admired) individuals. Chicago-based photographer Sandro Miller had something else in mind when he recently collaborated with acclaimed actor John Malkovich. Rather than capturing the essence of Malkovich himself (which Miller has done in the past), the project Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters, as the name suggests, explores photographers whose photographs helped shape Miller’s career. This project is not only evidence of Miller’s amazing photography skills through the full recreation of iconic photographs without the use of Photoshop editing, but also Malkovich’s stellar acting capabilities, transforming himself into these familiar subjects. Miller expresses his esteem for Malkovich in his own words “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.”

Via sandrofilm.com and edelmangallery.com

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