Artist’s Clever Celebrity Mashups Include Boy George Washington, Michael Jackson Pollock

Hannah Rothstein Michael Jackson Pollock (2015)
Hannah Rothstein Boy George Washington

Hannah Rothstein, Boy George Washington (2015)

“Don’t believe everything you see” is a good rule to live by. The American artist Hannah Rothstein’s latest tongue-in-cheek photo editing–based project, in collaboration with Udemy, aims to underscore its importance by offering inventive mashups that reimagine historic figures in combination with contemporary celebrities.

hannah rothstein michael jackson pollock

Hannah Rothstein, Michael Jackson Pollock (2015)

The resulting characters include Judge Judy Jetson, Boy George Washington, Rod Stewardess, Michael Jackson Pollock, Mohammed Ali G, Sir Edmund Hillary Clinton, and many more. Boy George Washington incorporates the iconic portrait of the first president by Gilbert Stuart, while Michael Jackson Pollock hijacks a studio portrait of Jack the Dripper by the photographer Hans Namuth.

“Philosophically, this work can be seen as an examination of fame,” Rothstein explained in an email to artnet News. “Tenderized by society’s blanket awe, celebrities are treated more as objects to play with than people. But at its heart, this project was made for the fun of the pun. Because really, whose day doesn’t need a little grandpa humor?,” she added.

Hannah Rotstein Judge Judy Jetson 2015

Hannah Rothstein, Judge Judy Jetson (2015).

Rothstein has also created a photography series imagining how various art historical figures would arrange their Thanksgiving dinner (see This is How Your Favorite Artists Would Plate Their Thanksgiving Meals).

See more of Rothstein’s work on her website.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics