Artist Spotlights Photographers by Recreating Their Work in Play-Doh

Photos recreated by Play-Doh

A photography enthusiast has been recreating photographs by using off-the-shelf Play-Doh for over 10 years.

PetaPixel reported on Eleanor Macnair’s Play-Doh photo creations all the way back in 2013 but since then she has admirably continued her project with great commitment and it has gone from strength to strength.

“The project became popular very quickly,” Macnair tells PetaPixel. “I often felt pressure to create new works on a regular basis for the Instagram audience.”

However, the British artist says that she quickly realized that if the project was to have longevity she needed to step back and quietly go about her work. In fact, she makes her creations late at night when everyone else is in bed. Hence the name of her new book: Whilst the World Sleeps.

Photos recreated by Play-Doh
Aerial suspension by Clare Strand. Original photo
Photos recreated by Play-Doh
Trolley, New Orleans by Robert Frank. Original photo
Photos recreated by Play-Doh
New Brighton by Martin Parr. Original photo
Phoenix Park on a Sunday by Evelyn Hofer. Original photo
Salvador Dali (Eyes Closed) by Horst P. Horst. Original photo
Boy With June Bug by Gordon Park. Original photo
Limbo 5 by Bianca Brunner. Original photo

Macnair has recreated photos taken by Cindy Sherman, Diane Arbus, Elliott Erwitt, Martin Parr, and many more. But she says the project has never really been about famous photographs. Instead, Macnair wants to “lead the viewer to see images they may not encounter otherwise.”

“A bit of me hopes that it gets people thinking about how we consume imagery in the digital age,” she says.

“We scroll past countless images every day, not really looking nor reading captions or thinking about the context. Remaking images in Play-Doh, I hope, encourages the viewer to slow down and relook at the original with a new perspective.”

Mali by Seydou Keita. Original photo
I’m Desperate by Gillian Wearing. Original photo
Citizens of Porto Novo 442 by Leonce Raphael. Original photo
New York City, Girl with Lily by Helen Levitt. Original photo
Untitled film still #21 by Cindy Sherman. Original photo
Stanley Marsh and John Reinhardt by Stephen Shore. Original photo

Macnair is not a photographer herself, nor did she study it or go to art school. “I didn’t visit a gallery until I was 21,” she adds.

“My access to art was fairly limited which is why I hope the project is a fun access point into the worlds of art and photography for a wide audience.”

Macnair’s book new book Whilst the World Sleeps is published by RRB and can be purchased here.

More of Macnair’s work can be found on her website, Instagram, and Tumblr.

Image credits: Eleanor Macnair