— Alison Jackson (@alisonjackson) November 15, 2016
When that picture of a naked Bill Clinton broke, having his back massaged by an ominous ‘busty blonde’, I think I speak for everyone when I say jaws hit the floor.
The guy is the spitting image of the former President, who has previously gotten himself in a bit-of-hot-and-bother with the ladies.
What I can now tell you though, is that the picture is categorically not real, which will be great news for Hilary, but not so much for those out there who will be a gutted by this disappointing revelation.
Sorry guys, it’s for the best. Really.
How can it be though?! It looks exactly like him.
It’s clever, very clever, but let me introduce you to artist, Alison Jackson, who is the mastermind behind these eerily realistic shots.
The genius has won many awards, including a BAFTA for her work, which ‘explores the cult of celebrity,’ aiming to ‘explore the blurred boundaries between reality and imaginary – the gap and confusion between the two.’
Her photographs portray celebrity-lookalikes, ‘doing things in private,’ which sometimes aren’t too far away from being plausible.
— Alison Jackson (@alisonjackson) October 28, 2016
Jackson works across multiple media platforms, including TV, books, press, social media and bizarrely, even opera, as well as having exhibits in galleries and museums across the globe.
I caught up with her to try and find out the secrets behind her tricks, how she makes the magic work and where it all came from…
📚'Private: Alison Jackson' out now on Amazon pic.twitter.com/Jqt8XHkVAv
— Alison Jackson (@alisonjackson) November 14, 2016
First off, her work is incredibly realistic and understandably, causes many people to be completely baffled.
“A lot of people think my work is real,” said Alison and she has no plans to correct them either, saying that she likes to “leave everyone to guess, as in my view it doesn’t matter – it’s impossible to tell what’s real anymore.
Un faux Donald Trump a été intercepté par la police alors qu'il tentait de se rendre à la Trump Tower. pic.twitter.com/hAxafQFHfx
— Thomas Urbain (@ThomasUrbain1) October 25, 2016
“It doesn’t matter if it isn’t the ‘real’ icon – as long as it looks like him or her – it creates a temporary confusion. I search for this confusion and to create and to create it within my work.
“My work is about simulation. Creating a clone or a copy of the ‘real’ on paper. It is not a fake, it takes the place of the ‘real’ for a moment.”
— Alison Jackson (@alisonjackson) November 8, 2016
People don’t seem to be bothered about whether the celebrities are real or fake anyway. She explained: “When I am out and about with lookalikes we get chased by flash mobs.
“Everyone wants the lookalike – they don’t care if its not the deal real anymore, they just want to F*** them.”
Well I wasn’t expecting that…
— Alison Jackson (@alisonjackson) September 20, 2016
It can be incredibly time consuming creating this sort of thing, with hours of labouring over every detail.
She said:”I make them look realistic by hours and hours/ days and days of studying in minute detail every strand of hair – i.e. Donald Trumps complicated weave comb over – I study the celebrities hair, the make up exactly, and then to translate a person from nowhere to somebody I use observational lighting techniques and very specific camera angles etc.”
— Alison Jackson (@alisonjackson) November 9, 2016
It can often be very difficult to avoid getting into trouble when filming what looks to the outside eye, as high profile celebrities…
She said she is:” Always in trouble – Recently in Manhattan with my ‘ Donald Trump’ and 40 bikini clad protesting women holding placards, such as Don’t snatch my pussy and I am not a slut, outside Trump Tower. The NYPD stopped me and us and stopped again and again and again etc.. they ended up not being able to do anything as the thousands of people flash mobs running across roads and 5th ave to see stopped them by surprise and they had to release us and the NYPD were causing the disruption they were trying to stop…
“Another time I was incarcerated in a department store lock up in Tokyo being accused on disruption just because I was with the ‘Beckhams’ and being chased by the people.”
— Alison Jackson (@alisonjackson) October 25, 2016
She quickly rose to fame nearly two decades ago, with images from one of her series called Mental Images, which were supposedly meant to depict Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed with a baby.
This started off a life-long fascination with celebrity and media culture and the Royals.
— Alison Jackson (@alisonjackson) November 17, 2016
“When Princess Diana died I wondered why everyone was mourning her death – the country – the world – came to a stand still for a week – vigils and ceremonies were conducted – it struck me everyone thought they knew her intimately but very few had actually met her for real… they only ‘knew’ her through media stories and imagery – layer upon layer of editors writers and photographers etc.. and her publicity machine at work.
“I started making work about her and this – the media construction and manufacture of a celebrity. ”
— Alison Jackson (@alisonjackson) November 15, 2016Advertisement
She has since continued on this bandwagon, showcasing very accurate doppelgangers of David Beckham, Tony Blair, Marilyn Monroe, Kim Kardashian, Prince William and Kate and Paris Hilton to name a few.
However, Alison’s favourite celebrity to document above all though is the Queen.
“I am fascinated by the royals and the Queen – how she remains a blank canvas and allows everyone to project onto her their thoughts and feelings and she never says a word. I think she is an amazing role model in that sense,” she said.
— Alison Jackson (@alisonjackson) November 17, 2016
Boundaries between what’s real and what’s fantasy, fascinate Alison, as well as the idea of secrecy and what our favourite celebs, who are constantly in the public eye, get upto behind closed doors.
“I am very interested in the difference between the public persona and image virus the private real person.
“The confused and blurred boundaries surrounding this,” Alison explained.
The last administration has been scandal-free. Do you think Obama has any secrets?
See more in my new book 📚Private: Alison Jackson out now! pic.twitter.com/3slUMsjKuR
— Alison Jackson (@alisonjackson) November 10, 2016
When asked if she had any plans to try anything new for the future, she revealed: “I would love to do a TV series – a topical show about what is going on behind the scenes that we imagine but haven’t seen yet. All things in private.”