Spoof artist Alison Jackson, famed for her controversial fake celebrity shoots, has said that her work shows what a ‘slimy, deceitful medium’ photography is.
The British photographer is known for creating realistic comedy photographs of A-lister doppelgangers in awkward settings – including Kate Middleton and Prince William in the bath and even the Queen sitting on the loo.
The 61-year-old, who lives in London, says she initially wanted to be a sculptor but was encouraged to pursue the art form while studying for her Masters at the Royal College of Art.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Jackson said despite the fact she ‘hates’ photography, she’s still keen to create controversial images through the medium.
Spoof artist Alison Jackson, famed for her controversial fake celebrity shoots, has said her work shows what a ‘slimy, deceitful medium’ photography is. The artist is pictured in London last month
The British photographer, pictured in 2011, is known for creating realistic comedy photographs of A-lister doppelgangers in awkward settings
‘I hate photography because it’s a slimy, deceitful medium, and I’ve made a whole body of work showing what a slimy, deceitful medium it is’, she explained.
In 1999, Jackson was threatened with expulsion from the RCA for exhibiting an image of a Princess Diana lookalike holding a biracial baby alongside a Dodi al-Fayed doppelgänger in her series Mental Images – Royal Family.
The Duke of Edinburgh was reportedly so upset with these images he withdrew from opening the exhibition that year – however that hasn’t deterred Jackson from creating controversial pieces.
‘I would absolutely make another piece like that,’ she said. ‘[And] if you find it outrageous, you need to look in your own mind.’
The photographer is pictured posing in front of her work ‘Seeing is Deceiving’ showing a lookalike of the Queen in bed in 2011
The artist revealed that a young Prince Harry lookalike she used for a shoot outside the Prince of Wales’ house found himself in handcuffs (Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton lookalikes from 2011)
Jackson is famous for recreating A-listers – from royals to the US president – in ordinary situations including shopping, taking selfies and even perched on the loo
Alison, whose outrageous images include a lookalike Meghan Markle wrestling a fake Duchess of Cambridge to the floor by her hair, previously revealed that she often chases people down the street if they have the celebrity ‘look’ she wants.
After creating a series of images satirising Donald Trump in 2016, Jackson revealed she’d seen 300 lookalikes at auditions but none made the cut, so she resorted to approaching people in the street.
Speaking on ITV, she said: ‘I would run after them and say “hey you look like Donald Trump” and since I mentioned that name they would either run away, put the phone down [or] shout at me.
‘Eventually I was told to shove off in no uncertain terms and far less polite than that, so I slightly gave up and everyone kept saying “why aren’t you doing something?”
Finally she found a 66-year-old man from Chicago who said he has been told ‘for years’ that he resembles the businessman.
In 1999, Jackson released her controversial series Mental Images – Royal Family. She is pictured in front of one of her collections in 2009
Alison’s outrageous images include a lookalike Meghan Markle wrestling a fake Duchess of Cambridge to the floor by her hair. She is pictured in London, 2018
She also shared that she once got a Prince Harry double arrested after parking a ‘van of lookalikes’ outside Prince Charles’ house.
‘I parked my lookalike van outside Prince Charles’ house, which was not the greatest thing [to do].
‘When I came back an hour later – from a photoshoot with a fake Queen outside Buckingham Palace – I found Prince Harry had been out of the van.
‘The police came along and were trying to put him in handcuffs. Never saw him again!’
When asked why she thought the work was so popular, Jackson said people want to believe the imagery, saying: ‘It doesn’t matter if it’s fake. I’m almost sort of replacing the real.
‘We live in this world you can’t believe any more. We need to believe. The photography seduces you into thinking it’s real.’