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Alison Jackson, Haifa Museum of Art, March 2017
15 May 1960 (age 59)
Southsea, Hampshire, England
|Education||Chelsea College of Art and Design|
Royal College of Art
Alison Jackson (born 15 May 1960) is a British artist who explores celebrity culture as created by the media and publicity industries. Jackson makes works about celebrities doing things in private by using lookalike models. Jackson comments on the public's voyeurism, the power and seductive nature of imagery, and on viewers' need to believe. Jackson's interest in the Royal Family has resulted in her making photographs of a look-alike of the Queen on the loo or changing royal nappies, and other look-alikes posing as Prince Charles and Camilla, and others in the family.
Jackson works across all media and arts platforms in television, digital, books. She has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums. Jackson has won a BAFTA for her BBC 2 series Doubletake and collected awards from 'Infinity', the Photographers Gallery, 'The Best of the Best,' and 'Creative Circle' over the years. She has published four collections of her photographic work.
Jackson graduated as an adult student with BA (Hons) in Fine Art Sculpture from the Chelsea College of Art and Design. She established herself as an abstract painter, completing a small number of critically acclaimed works. In 1997, her graduation piece, Crucifix, was the first piece she exhibited at a gallery. It was priced at £1,500 and five years later it was valued at ten times that amount. Shifting her focus, Jackson earned an MA in Fine Art Photography from the Royal College of Art, London.
In 1999 she generated controversy in England for producing black-and-white photographs that appeared to show Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed with a mixed-race love child. The photographs were part of her graduation series entitled Mental Images, created for her program at the Royalc College of ARt. She has produced similar photographs and films of celebrities using lookalikes in surprising or thought-provoking situations. She has said that she portrays them 'depicting our suspicions'.
With reference to her photograph of Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed, Jackson says: "I started making work about Diana as a national icon at the time of her death. Millions mourned her through her image. Most of them did not know her in person; they only "knew" her through the media stories, images of her and TV. I thought I would make images of her, using a lookalike, to explore our perception of her and our fantasies about her love life."
Jackson was the artist behind BBC Two's series in 2003 known as Doubletake, for which she won a BAFTA. She made mockumentaries for Channel 4, which included the depiction of George W. Bush and Tony Blair lookalikes in a series of 'behind the facade' scenes. Jackson also produced a film devoted to Blair, which coincided with his exit from office, entitled Blaired Vision, shown on Channel 4 on 26 June 2007. Alongside these commissions from Channel 4, she made two other films, Tony Blair: Rock Star and Sven: The Coach, the Cash and His Lovers.
On 1 April 2011 the artist launched an online celebrity news site in conjunction with the launch of her third book, Up The Aisle, 300 images of her take on the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Her numerous photos of a lookalike couple in various positions and settings was displayed at London's Ben Brown Gallery. That year Jackson was also developing a new series for American television.
In November 2016, she helped organize and photograph a protest rally featuring a Donald Trump lookalike and involving hundreds of women bearing placards "Don't snatch my pussy", "I am not a slut" and "Not my President" in front of Trump Tower, Manhattan, New York.
Jackson has produced lookalike transformation shows. In her Shot to Fame (2018) tour, she transforms ordinary people into lookalikes from her artwork on stage.
She is an ambassador for Spinal Injuries UK.
... a brilliant satire of modern celebrity culture. The Queen, Princes William and Harry; Kate and Pippa Middleton; Putin, Gordon Ramsay, David Beckham, Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi; Madonna and Lady Gaga, among others, all feature in a string of 14 famous, but rewritten, operatic arias."
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