Can you guess who's playing the Migrant Mother?

Sandro Miller has recreated a series of classic photographs with a certain Hollywood actor taking the lead role
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From Left: Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936 by Dorothea Lange; Dorothea Lange / Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936), 2014 by Sandro Miller. From the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich - Homage to photographic masters series. Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago.
From Left: Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936 by Dorothea Lange; Dorothea Lange / Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936), 2014 by Sandro Miller. From the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich - Homage to photographic masters series. Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago.

In the 1999 film Being John Malkovich, characters were able to inhabit the actor's mind for fifteen-minute stretches at a time. Visitors to this year's Rencontres d'Arles won't be offered that privilege, though they will perhaps regard the star in a new light after seeing the American photographer Sandro Miller's exhibition, Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters.

Some of you may be familiar with these shots, as the series premiered at the Catherine Endelman gallery in Chicago last November, though Arles is giving European gallery-goers the chance to see them from today.

 

Andy Warhol / Self Portrait (Fright Wig) (1986), 2014 by Sandro Miller. From the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich - Homage to photographic masters series. Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago.
Andy Warhol / Self Portrait (Fright Wig) (1986), 2014 by Sandro Miller. From the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich - Homage to photographic masters series. Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago.

Miller and Malkovich have recreated a series well-known photographs, from Dorothea Lange's famous Depression-era shot to Andres Serrano's infamous religious image Piss Christ, and Andy Warhol's Fright Wig series, with the actor taking a lead role in every picture.

As you might have guessed by now, the pair have had a pretty solid working relationship. The photographer first shot the actor during the late 1990s, while on a job for Chicago's Steppenwolf theatre, and has continued to photograph him ever since. This project began in 2012, when Miller decided to recreate a famous portrait by his mentor, Irving Penn.

 

Pierre et Gilles / Jean-Paul Gaultier (1990), 2014 by Sandro Miller. From the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich - Homage to photographic masters series. Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Pierre et Gilles / Jean-Paul Gaultier (1990), 2014 by Sandro Miller. From the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich - Homage to photographic masters series. Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago

"I looked at John and it came to me that he looked a bit like Truman Capote," Miller explained. "I decided to pay homage to Irving by recreating his photograph of Capote in a corner. The result was astonishing and the feedback on the work so overwhelmingly positive that I decided it would be a wonderful idea to pay homage to all the photographers that have influenced me over my 40-year career."

 

Diane Arbus / Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967), 2014 by Sandro Miller. From the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich - Homage to photographic masters series. Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago
Diane Arbus / Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967), 2014 by Sandro Miller. From the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich - Homage to photographic masters series. Courtesy of the artist and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago

Find out more on the festival, which runs until 20 September here; for more of Sandro's work go here; and for more on some of the photographers whose work served as inspiration for these shots buy The Photography Book here.


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