The JFK Tranformations

    Napoleon JFK & The Monkey Series
    The JFK Transformation Selections From The Middle Of The Series
    Series Total - Twelve Versions : Two Hundred Eighty Five Iterations

  • The wreath on (Emperor) Napoleon’s head started to remind me of Kennedy’s presidential portrait. Eventually I decided to use the Kennedy portrait. It was cropped above the eyebrows (so there was no top to the head) in order to align the new portrait with the old one. Much to my surprise I found the combined portrait was more charged (contextually) then either could be independently. 

    The smallest images below are sequential (starting top left) showing the evolution of the portraits. Towards the end of this series I started viewing the portraits as a trap, a sort of inescapable loop, I remember thinking there was no way I could ever make a Napoleonized portrait of an assassinated American president work… I mean how could it right?! It’s an interesting image but not really a commentary I would set out to make.

    There were times when I seemed to want to sabotage the portraits, Napoleon becomes Kennedy becomes “the great and powerful” Oz who becomes Alfred E. Numen who becomes Kennedy again. If you look there is a version were I was so sick of trying to make the Napoleon wreath work that I put the Frankenstein (Boris Karloff) head top on to cover it up. I believe these were attempt at gaining control of the image, to have it become uniquely mine.

    The large top image is the starting point for the transition from Napoleon to JFK. The focus on the portrait would last for all of the middle of the images life span and although the portrait issue never fully resolved, it would not undergo such a long exploration again. The large bottom image is the stopping point for the transition and represents a point where I was able to claim full ownership. The portraits became known as woodpeckers because of the similar red markings, but were eventually abandoned.
      --------------------------------------------------  NAPOLEON JFK MONKEY SERIES  --------------------------------------------------  
    Napoleons  |  JFK Transformations  |  Conculsion  |   Selected Failures