We’re used to seeing the mugshots of celebrities on everything from TMZ to the latest grocery store tabloid covers… and whether we want to know or not, the stories of their problems seem to trickle down to us from the television, the paper or the the water cooler gossip at work. But, what if those familiar stories were removed from the context we are used to and placed in a past much like our own current era. These images take the familiar mugshot expressions of modern celebrities and place them on the mugshots of moonshiners, prostitutes and thieves from the 1920s. The vintage images have the effect of making us look at these modern miscreants with a new eye, perhaps reevaluating their humanity or even reimagining their storied pasts.
The vintage mugshots were created by Art Center College of Design advertising student Michael Jason Enriquez. In his Tumblr based series, titled Mugshot Doppelgänger, he takes the stylish mugshots of the past and reworks them with modern celebs. Like the John Stewart doppelgänger in the painting by late 19th century Russian realist Ilya Repin, he notes that these images have a way of “linking us to the past,” giving us a unique connection to an era both familiar and remote.
Interested in seeing more of the vintage photographs he sourced for the project? You can see examples below, or find a large collection at Australia’s Historic Houses Trust.