I recently happened upon the work of Eleanor Macnair, who has been re-creating famous photographs in Play-Doh for the past few years. Part of her drive in making these artworks is to make art historical images more accessible to the general public, and the use of Play-Doh helps demystify the art and make it feel more democratic. The artist says: “Even after working in the art and photography world I sometimes find it exclusive and inaccessible. I didn’t study fine art or go to art school and didn’t have the right background or initially the right connections … I wanted to do something that wasn’t pretentious, that everyone could enjoy.”
Here’s a sampling of the original source photographs and Macnair’s versions in Play-Doh, which she then photographs as well. You can see more of her work here.
Below left: “Frida on Bench” by Nickolas Muray; below right: “Frida on Bench” by Eleanor Macnair
Below left: “Los Angeles” Garry Winogrand; below right: “Los Angeles” by Eleanor Macnair
Below left: “Untitled Film Still #21” by Cindy Sherman; below right: “Untitled Film Still #21” by Eleanor Macnair