Artist Recreates Iconic Photographs With John Malkovich, And It's Fantastic

09/24/2014 12:20 pm ET | Updated Sep 24, 2014

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
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Albert Watson / Alfred Hitchcock with Goose (1973), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Arthur Sasse / Albert Einstein Sticking Out His Tongue (1951), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Andy Warhol / Green Marilyn (1962), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Andy Warhol / Self Portrait with Fright Wig (1986), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Art Shay / Simone de Beauvoir (1950), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Carl Fischer, Muhammad Ali, New York (1968), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Gordon Parks / American Gothic, Washington, D.C. (1942), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Annie Leibovitz / John Lennon and Yoko Ono (1980), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • David Bailey / Mick Jagger “Fur Hood” (1964), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Diane Arbus / Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Alberton Korda / Che Guevara (1960), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Bert Stern / Marilyn in Pink Roses (1962), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Irving Penn / Pablo Picasso, Cannes, France (1957), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Irving Penn / Truman Capote, New York (1948), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Edward Sheriff Curtis / Three Horses (1905), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Philippe Halsman / Salvador Dalí (1954), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Richard Avedon / Ronald Fischer, Beekeeper, Davis, California, May 9, (1981), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Herb Ritts / Jack Nicholson, London (1988), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Robert Mapplethorpe / Self Portrait (1983), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Bert Stern / Marilyn Monroe, crucifix II (1962), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Victor Skrebneski / Bette Davis, Actor, 08 November 1971, Los Angeles Studio, 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago
  • Yousuf Karsh / Ernest Hemingway (1957), 2014
    © Sandro Miller courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery Chicago

Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly referenced Malkovich impersonating Madonna in one of the photos. The series does not include a Madonna recreation.

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