It’s hard being John Malkovich. Harder still when John Malkovich is off doing his best Marilyn Monroe, then throwing on a quick Andy Warhol, Einstein and Picasso before ending the day as Salvador Dalí.
Indeed, the only one capable of such a feat, as evidenced by American portrait photographer Sandro Miller’s latest project, may be Malkovich himself. In an interesting collaboration, the two artists teamed up to recreate some of history’s most iconic portraits, naming the resulting body of work “Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters.”
“Eighteen months ago I flew to France to see John, armed with a package of 30 iconic images by 28 master photographers, and to tell him about my idea for a new project,” Miller explained in a release emailed to The Huffington Post. “After consuming two bottles of wine with John, I showed him my idea and he fell in love.”
Miller said he and a team of experts spent the next eight months dissecting every last detail of the photos, an effort to ensure the project honored — not mocked — the original photographers.
“My biggest fear was that people wouldn’t take this project seriously. I didn’t want these to be a parody,” Miller said in the statement. “I was serious about paying homage to these photographers and photographs that changed my perspective on photography. These images inspired me throughout my career and developed me into the photographer I am today … This is my way of saying thank you to the masters that created these amazing images.”
In addition to serving as the model, Malkovich was “very involved” behind the scenes, says Miller. The actor often applied his own makeup — a process that took “at least two hours per shot” — and made his own wax nose for the Picasso and Salvador Dalí photos.
The full series will debut at Chicago’s Catherine Edelman Gallery on Nov. 7 and run through January 31, 2015. Several special releases are planned for the project, too: cultural review magazine 7-Post will publish an exclusive interview with Malkovich on the series in its on October 3 issue, and the French newspaper Liberation will also run an interview on the project.
View photos from “Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters,” below:
Dorothea Lange / Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936), 2014
Albert Watson / Alfred Hitchcock with Goose (1973), 2014
Arthur Sasse / Albert Einstein Sticking Out His Tongue (1951), 2014
Andy Warhol / Green Marilyn (1962), 2014
Carl Fischer, Muhammad Ali, New York (1968), 2014
Gordon Parks / American Gothic, Washington, D.C. (1942), 2014
David Bailey / Mick Jagger “Fur Hood” (1964), 2014
Diane Arbus / Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967), 2014
Alberton Korda / Che Guevara (1960), 2014
Irving Penn / Pablo Picasso, Cannes, France (1957), 2014
Irving Penn / Truman Capote, New York (1948), 2014
Edward Sheriff Curtis / Three Horses (1905), 2014
Philippe Halsman / Salvador Dalí (1954), 2014
Herb Ritts / Jack Nicholson, London (1988), 2014