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Masterful Mashups Reveal How Similar the Celebrities of Today are to the Stars of Old



It turns out the rich, famous and powerful of today bear a striking resemblance to the rich, famous and powerful of yesteryear — at least if you trust the photo series Iconatomy by George Chamoun and the followup series Then & Now by Marc Ghali.

Chamoun, who is a Swedish jewelry design student at the Konstfack University of the Arts, actually debuted his Iconatomy series a few years back. By masterfully combining old photographs of beautiful people with their equivalent today, he showed the uncanny similarities between stars like George Clooney and Carey Grant, Scarlett Johansson and Marilyn Monroe and more.

“Lots of people think I have just made part of the picture black and white. I did so much more!” explained Chamoun in an interview with SSSQUARE. “Having experimented making the transitions faded I decided to keep the lines sharp. Sometimes, I look at the way they fit together and think ‘How did I do that?!’ The whole process was really fun.”

Here are Mr. Chamoun’s images:






The Iconatomy series, which only consists of the 5 mashups above, became a source of inspiration for photographer Marc Ghali, who created the similar series Then & Now.

Like Chamoun, Ghali combined portraits from past and present. The difference is that he expanded his range from movie stars to include other influential people, such as President Obama (juxtaposed with Malcolm X) and Princess Diana (juxtaposed with Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton).

Take a look:







To see more of Chamoun’s work be sure to head over to his website by clicking here, and if you’re interested in purchasing a print of any of the Iconatomy images you can do so on the SSSQUARE website here. More of Ghali’s work can be found on his Behance profile here.

(via Lost At E Minor)

Image credits: Images by George Chamoun used with permission. Images by Marc Ghali used in accordance with Creative Commons license.

Update: After posting these series yesterday, several commenters expressed their anger at the fact that we posed Ghali’s Chamoun-inspired work alongside Chamoun’s originals. For us, it really wasn’t something we did with the intention to stir up controversy or upset people. Ghali’s series isn’t quite on the same level as the original, but it is often (almost always, in fact) shared when Chamoun’s Iconatomy is presented.

Of course, that doesn’t make it the right move (everybody else does it so we did too is hardly good reasoning) and the comments that seemed to indicate Chamoun was probably upset by the ‘Then & Now’ series got us thinking. So we asked Mr. Chamoun what he thought of the followup and the fact that it is so often shared alongside his original series. (We also offered to remove it if he didn’t want the two shown side-by-side).

Here’s what he had to say:

I’m sorry in advance because I won’t be able to elaborate too much on this subject.

I have seen the pictures in question before. I do think they are very similar, especially in the way they are made and the execution. On the other hand, one can’t stop anyone else from being inspired by their work.

The downside is, some people have mistaken his work to be my work. Yesterday I got an angry email from a person who was upset that I had merged Rihanna and Diana Ross and I didn’t understand anything!

So there are both positives and negatives.

Feel free to let us know what you think of Mr. Chamoun’s response in the comments. As always, we appreciate your feedback and in the future will we promise to think more critically before crafting a post like this.