Best Of 2021: SKIRA: Sandro Miller: Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters

American photographer Sandro millerthe epic project of Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to the masters of photography is a tour de force of artistic passion and technical precision in the same vein as its central character, the actor John malkovich.

The project, which began in 2013, features 61 images that pay homage to the luminaries of photography who influenced Sandro’s notable career, including Irving Penn, August Sander, Man Ray, Dorothea Lange, Robert Mapplethorpe, Annie Liebovitz and Richard Avedon. .

The latest iteration of Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to the masters of photography is a beautiful fabric-bound book produced by master publisher SKIRA featuring the 61 images, the first publication of its kind.

Sandro describes Malkovich as “a nice clean canvas ready to paint. He’s extremely open-minded, never afraid, and is always willing to go places most actors of his caliber would avoid.

In this project, those “places” Sandro refers to saw Malkovich transform into Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Che Guevara, Mick Jagger, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, Alfred Hitchcock and other famous cultural identities. “His willingness to play dress-up and become the subject of some of the most iconic images in history is a real gift from him to me,” said Sandro.

Malkovich and Sandro met in the early 1990s during a photoshoot for the legendary Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago, one of Sandro’s oldest photographic clients. The duo immediately hit it off and have since collaborated on various projects, including several award-winning shorts. Corn Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to the masters of photography is the most ambitious of all collaborations, and for Sandro “the most important work I have done to date”. For someone as prolific and visionary as Sandro, this is quite a statement and signals the importance of this body of work that took a Herculean effort from everyone involved.

Creating Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to the masters of photography Sandro assembled a team of expert stylists, makeup artists, costume designers and decorators who spent 18 months painstakingly researching each image, analyzing the different styles of lighting for each era, clothing, accessories and hairstyles. For many photographs, Sandro “found proofs and images that were taken before and after the final image. I needed every detail to be absolutely perfect. I had a rock star team. Everyone brought their A-game, including John.

Dorothea Lange’s migrant mother is a perfect example of Sandro’s desire to be true to the original image and the efforts his team put into realizing his vision. In recreating one of the most recognized images of the Great Depression, no detail has been overlooked. Sandro even asked for permission to cut children’s hair in the 1930s style!

The clothes also had to be authentic. “My stylist did extensive research and found almost the exact flannel these kids would have used at this time in history. We had the same style of shirt and the same dress made that Mother wore for John. We distressed each piece to match what Dorothea Lange captured, ”he told filmmaker Jon Siskel in an interview that also appears in the book.

“Some may think that everything is done with the computer. I’m from the old school, I’ve been doing this for forty years. I use a computer as a darkroom. Most of the time everything goes in camera and we’re very, very, very proud of the way we’ve done it.

Malkovich calls Sandro “a zen version of the west side of Chicago.” Cool, collected, but also enthusiastic and warm from the Midwest in their work habits. He is someone with whom I like to collaborate. It is impeccably prepared and always brings together a formidable crew. Malkovich says working with Sandro “is fun, which isn’t always the case with creative people.” Sandro says Malkovich kept his humor even through the most laborious aspects like the number of shots it took to get the exact smoke to recreate Bette Davis’ 1971 portrait of Victor Skrebneski.

In the pages of this book, the shared vision of these two artists is clearly evident, adding to the richness and completeness of the images. While Sandro brings his mastery of image creation, Malkovich brings his innate ability to channel the personality of others. Immersing themselves in the subject’s character, their essence literally radiates through his eyes, which is both exhilarating and at times a little scary.

The SKIRA book itself is a work of art, cloth bound, with silver embossing and trim, and exquisite image reproduction. It is such a pleasure to see the publisher treat the images with respect to create what will surely become a collector’s item.

the Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to the masters of photography The exhibition continues to tour the world. It is currently exhibited in Antwerp, Belgium, at Galerie Fifty-One until February and at Magazine delle Idea in Trieste, Italy, until May 2021.

The book Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to the masters of photography is available on Amazon.

Alison stieven-taylor

Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to the masters of photography

First edition

Posted by SKIRA

Designed by Marcello Francone

128 pages, 260 x 320 mm

61 images

Michael E. Marquez