Eleanor MacNair: Photographs Rendered in Play Doh

Original photograph ‘Black and White’, Mary Jane Russell, Le Pavillon, New York, Harper’s Bazaar, 1950 by Lillian Bassman

Love on the Left Bank by Ed Van Der Elsken

All images are courtesy of Photographsrenderedinplaydoh.tumblr.com

“I’m not a photographer myself. I’ve never studied art, and didn’t visit an art gallery until I was 21,” says Eleanor MacNair (@eleanormacnair). “What I know about photography and art is what I’ve picked up through osmosis along the way—looking, thinking and seeing—I like to think of it as the Good Will Hunting school of art education.”

Wenda Parkinson by Norman Parkinson 1951

Undaunted by a lack of formal qualifications, Eleanor made a career for herself over the past 10 years working in London as a public relations agent for museums, galleries and book publishers that specialize in photography. In her spare time, she recreates some of her favorite photographs as renderings made out of Play-Doh, which she keeps just long enough to photograph, before returning the modeling material to its jars.

Original photograph Child with Toy Hand Grenade 1962 by Diane Arbus

Ryan Mcginley India Deer

“Sometimes things are more special in life because they are fleeting and you know you don’t have them for long,” Eleanor explains. “It’s nice to do something in life that isn’t money driven, and ‘just because’ really. Also, I don’t know where I would put nearly 150 Play-Doh renderings in my small flat.”

To see more of Eleanor’s Play-Doh renderings of photographs, follow @ eleanormacnair on Instagram.


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