Two Faces, One Portrait
A collage artist combs through glamour shots of forgotten Hollywood actors to create compelling celebrity mashups
- By Paul Bisceglio
- Smithsonian magazine, July-August 2013,
For the collage series MARRIAGE, the British conceptual artist John Stezaker scavenged through junk shops, bookstores and eBay for publicity photos of now-forgotten 1940s and ’50s Hollywood actors and actresses. He then cut and glued them together, creating two-faced portraits like the one above, Marriage (Film Portrait Collage) XXXI, that transformed the bland, stagy glamour shots into arresting new faces. “Somehow, when they got broken up and recombined, real people seemed to emerge,” he told the Guardian. Stezaker, now in his 60s, helped pioneer conceptual art in Britain more than 40 years ago, but he has achieved wide fame only in the past decade as his work caught the attention of trendsetting art collectors such as Charles Saatchi.