In Ashtanga, there is the tradition of singing the opening mantra before starting the practice.
It starts with the words, “vande gurunam caranaravinde,” which translates to: I bow to the lotus feet of the Gurus.
I cherish this moment. It is a simple ritual to say thank you to the gurus and teachers from whom I am learning the ways of yoga. It is a moment in which I pay my respects to them and to the universe, for offering me the opportunity to learn, live and practice yoga.
It is a way for me to acknowledge my sources of inspiration, be it teachers that I know, writers whose books I’ve read or any other people that have somehow motivated me in life.
Without revering them like gods, without blowing it out of proportion by putting them on a pedestal and throwing myself at their feet, I express my gratitude for the lessons learnt.
By doing so, by accepting and embracing our sources of inspiration, our masters, our muses and by integrating their energy with one’s own, I believe that every now and then, great new things can be achieved.
This is what went through my head when I saw Sandro Miller’s photographs from the series, “Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich: Homage to Photographic Masters” and read about what his intention was when he set out to realise this project: paying homage to all the photographers that have influenced him during his 40 year career.
By recreating 30 images that have inspired him—and are probably engraved in the mind of many others in the world too—Sandro Miller not only acknowledged the great photography artists before him, but also the characters and individuals eternalized in those pictures.
Then adding his own character, passion, dedication and soul to the artwork, it became new, grand, gripping and hilarious.
A crucial element of the project was Sandro Miller’s decision to ask John Malkovich to be his model. “I chose John because deep in my heart, I knew he was the only actor who would be willing to morph into the numerous subjects portrayed in the original images,” says Miller.
Both photographer and model studied the original pictures for hours, day, weeks and analysed every single detail in order to reproduce the original as closely as possible. Eight months later, they went to work.
The result is astonishing. Some pictures took my breath away, some gave me the chills and others, I had to look at for quite some time before realising that it really was John Malkovich.
When combining iconic inspiration with grateful acceptance and then adding some unique talent to the works, beauty is the only outcome possible.
Below you will find a selection of the amazing photo series, including the original images.
- Exclusive John Malkovich interview with French publication 7-POST and French newspaperLiberation, coming in October
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
All other photos: Albert Einstein by Arthur Sasse, Che Guevara by Alberto Korda, Three Horses by Edward S. Curtis, Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange, Portrait of Ernest Hemingway by Yousuf Karsh, Identical Twins, Roselle by Diane Arbus, American Gothic by Gordon Parks.