EYE CANDY

Alison Jackson’s Photos of Celebrity Lookalikes Take Fake News to Another Level

"MENTAL IMAGES X ALISON JACKSON" at SPRING/BREAK ART SHOW 2019 - Curated by Indira Cesarine
Alison Jackson

Donald Trump may have been the one to popularize phrases like “fake news” and “alternative facts,” but those concepts are nothing new; they’ve been at the center of Alison Jackson’s artistic practice, for example, for more than a decade and a half. For years now, the artist has enlisted A-list lookalikes to create the images that even a simple glance at the cover of a tabloid can lead one’s imagination to conjure. They’re not just visually jarring, but theoretically: After all, is a photo of “Brangelina” admiring a lineup of their adopted children really that different from the tabloids’ sensationalized, salacious coverage of outlandish rumors about the pair’s personal lives? It almost goes without saying that those are just a drop in the bucket of the tales of anonymous, so-called “sources” that end up in the media—a phenomenon that’s escalated to the point that this week, the Royal Family issued a threat to take legal action against everyday social media users, following incessant coverage of a “feud” between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle. But supply, of course, comes from demand: “We transform our celebrities into what we want,” Jackson says. And we become so obsessed with those fantasies that our “mental images” can seem even more authentic than direct records of reality. Take a look inside her exhibition of some of those imaginations, appropriately titled “Mental Images x Alison Jackson,” on view at the “Fact and Fiction” edition of the Spring/Break Art Show, here.

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Alison Jackson, Brangelina’s Orphanage, 2008. Featured in the exhibition “Mental Images x Alison Jackson,” curated by Indira Cesarine and on view at the 2019, “Fact & Fiction” edition of the Spring/Break Art Show.

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Alison Jackson, Obama Smoking, 2009. Featured in the exhibition “Mental Images x Alison Jackson,” curated by Indira Cesarine and on view at the 2019, “Fact & Fiction” edition of the Spring/Break Art Show.

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Alison Jackson, Royal Birth, 2015. Featured in the exhibition “Mental Images x Alison Jackson,” curated by Indira Cesarine and on view at the 2019, “Fact & Fiction” edition of the Spring/Break Art Show.

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Alison Jackson, Queen on the Loo in Regalia, 2013. Featured in the exhibition “Mental Images x Alison Jackson,” curated by Indira Cesarine and on view at the 2019, “Fact & Fiction” edition of the Spring/Break Art Show.

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Alison Jackson, Trump and Queen Have KFC, 2018. Featured in the exhibition “Mental Images x Alison Jackson,” curated by Indira Cesarine and on view at the 2019, “Fact & Fiction” edition of the Spring/Break Art Show.

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Alison Jackson, Trump KKK, 2016. Featured in the exhibition “Mental Images x Alison Jackson,” curated by Indira Cesarine and on view at the 2019, “Fact & Fiction” edition of the Spring/Break Art Show.

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Alison Jackson, Clinton Massage, 2017. Featured in the exhibition “Mental Images x Alison Jackson,” curated by Indira Cesarine and on view at the 2019, “Fact & Fiction” edition of the Spring/Break Art Show.

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Alison Jackson, Marilyn Undresses for JFK, 2001. Featured in the exhibition “Mental Images x Alison Jackson,” curated by Indira Cesarine and on view at the 2019, “Fact & Fiction” edition of the Spring/Break Art Show.

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Alison Jackson, Marilyn at the Window, 2000. Featured in the exhibition “Mental Images x Alison Jackson,” curated by Indira Cesarine and on view at the 2019, “Fact & Fiction” edition of the Spring/Break Art Show.