Yes, ICon

Martin Levinne & Barry Morse’s Morphing Man

Barry Morse: a Los Angeles visual artist/performer/filmmaker/hair & makeup artist. Martin Levinne: Czech-born photographer and art director. When the two met, they mined their collective consciousness to create these “portrait sittings” of figures from our not-so-distant past.

It’s not so much about how they looked; it’s much more about how we know them –– although the success of a parody lies in selective (emphasis on selective) accuracy. Jesus, for instance, probably was not on a high-protein diet nor had lifted weights (except for that 120-pound wooden cross). But the other side of our brain knows the dime-store Jesus with the swimmer’s body. Valentino the movie star was born in drag –– sheik drag –– which had in turn been shaped by the 19th-century Orientalia and Hollywood’s never-ending desire to marry one exotica with another to create a new kind of myth. And the new demigods and demons of our time –– Paul Stanley, Gandhi, Saddam, Kafka, Frida, La Liz…what do we know about them?

Morse and Levinne (self-) consciously toe the line between parody and tribute, and what we see in these faces could very well be reflections of our selves.
–– Rika Ohara

Vincent VanGogh by Levinne/Morse

Osama Bin Laden by Levinne/Morse


© 2008-2010 Martin Levinne