‘Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters’ in Zagreb

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John Malkovich

Croatian Association of Fine Artists is pleased to announce the blockbuster exhibition Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters, the result of a collaboration between American photographer Sandro Miller and actor John Malkovich, equally beloved by the audience and the experts. Following its launching in 2014, the project set out on a world tour and Zagreb will be the 13th city in the world to have the opportunity to host this highly acclaimed exhibition, opening on February 9. The exhibition will remain open for two months, closing on April 9, 2017.

Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters is a photographic project newly recreating iconic, legendary photographs taken throughout the history, by imitating the original techniques and using the photographic equipment initially used to take the original photos. An additional value of the series has been accomplished through the role of renowned actor John Malkovich, whose acting skills have been put to use to imitate the subjects from the original photographs.

The series of photographs that have inspired Miller in both the choice of- and further progress within his profession include the legendary photo Identical twins, taken by Diana Arbus in 1967, the Beekeper, taken by Richard Avedon in 1981, the portrait of Truman Capote, taken by Irving Penn in 1948, the photo of a migrant mother, taken by Dorothea Lange in 1936, the iconic photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, taken by Annie Leibovitz in 1980 for Rolling Stone magazine several hours prior to Lennon’s assassination, and many others.

In 2013, having affirmed his position as one of the best portrait photographers and driven by a sudden and serious medical diagnosis, American photographer Sandro Miller envisioned a project that would pay tribute to all of the artists whose photographic work had shaped and inspired his own career. Having selected 35 photographs to recreate, Sandro got in touch with Malkovich, his collaborator turned friend of 17 years.

Sandro and his studio spent a year fastidiously researching each original photograph — studying every detail, hunting down outtakes from the shoots, and interviewing photographers. Each detail captured in the original photographs had to be painstakingly recreated in Sandro’s version. After a year of planning, Miller and his team of set builders, make-up experts and costume designers worked with Malkovich over six days 15 hours per day in Sandro’s Chicago Studio. Each set was pre-lit and dressed, waiting for Malkovich to transition from one character to the next.

John Malkovich is considered one of the greatest American actors of the 21st century. In the series Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters, he has demonstrated his chameleon-like ability of transforming, and with ease, into Albert Einstein, Che Guevara, Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol and many more. Combining his immense acting skills with Sandro’s astonishing photographic eye, the exhibition Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters pays tribute to the history of photography by celebrating the photographers’ genius and muses.

When talking about Malkovich, Sandro says: “John is brilliant, the most prolific person I know. His genius is unparalleled. I can simply suggest a mood or an idea and within a moment, he will transform into another character right before my eyes. He has complete trust in my work and our process… I have been truly blessed to have him as friend and collaborator.”

In addition to the exhibited photographs, the visitors will have the opportunity to observe the process behind the camera and gain insight into the creation methods behind certain photographs, as well as the details of Sandro’s collaboration with Malkovich, all made possible through the screenings of the documentary making-off movie. During his stay in Zagreb, Miller will hold a lecture followed by a conversation with the audience on February 10 at the HDLU Club. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, HDLU will also host screenings of short movies starring John Malkovich as protagonist, namely Butterflies, Ecstasy, Hell and Psychogenic Fuge, some of them shown at the Cannes Film Festival.

Sandro Miller is a world-known photographer from Chicago, USA. He has been working in photography since the age of 16, when he, inspired by the oeuvre of Irving Penn, first started to study photographic techniques and the work of renowned photographers. During his career of 30 years, he has affirmed his position as one of the leading advertising photographers, having collaborated with numerous clients, such as Forbes, American Express, Coca-Cola, BMW and others. Having obtained such success in commercial photography, he was able to put time and efforts in his own artistic projects, which have also attained well-earned recognition and success at the international art scene. His most recent project, the series Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters, has been on world tour since 2014, reaching its numerous audience and their ovations virally as well. Miller has won a number of awards and recognitions, most recently the International Photographer of the Year Award by the Lucie Foundation, Top Pick for Fall Visual Arts by Chicago Reader, and 200 Best Photographers by American Photography.

The exhibition is supported by the US Embassy in Croatia, the Ministry of Culture, the Zagreb Tourist Board, Esplanade Hotel and Go2Digital.

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