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Iconic Portrait Photos Throughout History Recreated with John Malkovich as the Subject

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Dorothea_Lange___Migrant_Mother,_Nipomo,_California_(date),_2014

Upon first glance, the photo above looks like Dorothea Lange’s iconic Migrant Mother photo captured in 1936. Then you realize that the woman in the frame is definitely not Florence Owens Thompson, the woman in the original image. Looking a more closely, you start to notice an uncanny resemblance to actor John Malkovich.

Turns out that is John Malkovich you see. American photographer Sandro Miller collaborated with the actor to recreate some of the most famous portraits captured throughout history. The project is titled, “Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to photographic masters.”

Lange's original Migrant Mother photograph.
The original Migrant Mother photograph by Dorothea Lange.

Miller first began his photographer career at the age of 16. Over the next three decades, he rose to become one of the world’s leading advertising photographers.

Aside from his work in the industry, Miller continues to create personal projects, including lengthy collaborations with Malkovich. Miller first met his long time friend back in the late 1990s while shooting photographs for Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago (Malkovich became a charter member there in 1976).

Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich was started in 2013 after Sandro wanted to pay tribute to the photographers who have inspired him and shaped his photographic career. He selected 35 iconic photos, and then enlisted the eager help of Malkovich.

Miller tells Chicago’s Catherine Edelman Gallery that,

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.

The series is a testament to both Miller’s photography and editing skills, as well as Malkovich’s acting skills. The photographs are so spot-on that you might have trouble believing they’re full recreations rather than a simple face-pasting Photoshop job:

Albert Watson / Alfred Hitchcock with Goose (1973), 2014
Albert Watson / Alfred Hitchcock with Goose (1973), 2014
Alberto Korda / Che Guevara (1960), 2014
Alberto Korda / Che Guevara (1960), 2014
Andy Warhol / Self Portrait (Fright Wig) (1986), 2014
Andy Warhol / Self Portrait (Fright Wig) (1986), 2014
Annie Leibovitz / John Lennon and Yoko Ono (1980), 2014
Annie Leibovitz / John Lennon and Yoko Ono (1980), 2014
Arthur Sasse / Albert Einstein Sticking Out His Tongue (1951), 2014
Arthur Sasse / Albert Einstein Sticking Out His Tongue (1951), 2014
Bert Stern / Marilyn in Pink Roses (from The Last Session, 1962), 2014
Bert Stern / Marilyn in Pink Roses (from The Last Session, 1962), 2014
David Bailey / Mick Jagger "Fur Hood" (1964), 2014
David Bailey / Mick Jagger “Fur Hood” (1964), 2014
Gordon Parks / American Gothic, Washington, D.C. (1942), 2014
Gordon Parks / American Gothic, Washington, D.C. (1942), 2014
Herb Ritts / Jack Nicholson, London (1988) (A), 2014
Herb Ritts / Jack Nicholson, London (1988) (A), 2014
Diane Arbus / Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967), 2014
Diane Arbus / Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967), 2014
Philippe Halsman / Salvador Dalí (1954), 2014
Philippe Halsman / Salvador Dalí (1954), 2014
Yousuf Karsh / Ernest Hemingway (1957), 2014
Yousuf Karsh / Ernest Hemingway (1957), 2014

You can find more of Miller’s work over on his website.


Image credits: Photographs by Sandro Miller and used with permission

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