‘The Road to Hollywood’

Photographer Rebecca Sandulak recreates classic images – including ‘Red Head Velvet’, an homage to Marilyn Monroe’s 1949 calendar shoot with Tom Kelley – in The Road to Hollywood, an exhibition at cre8ery, Winnipeg, until April 5.

‘ “I love the beauty of the great Hollywood portraits,” says the Winnipeg photographer…Visitors will encounter the likes of Veronica Lake, Dorothy and the Wicked Witch, and a brunette Marilyn Monroe’s infamous photo spread on red satin (sans nudity this time).

That is, viewers will encounter variations on these familiar images; like actors playing well-established roles, Sandulak’s subjects (most of them actors themselves) wear the “costumes” of, for instance, Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The artist’s “Brigitte Bardot” (Meghan Koley) could pass as the genuine article.

The point isn’t to fool the eye — it’s to evoke the spirit of cinema’s classical past.

“The great portraits of screen legends had no Photoshopping done to them and very little old-fashioned manipulation,” says Sandulak, who drew considerable inspiration from Hollywood ‘Golden Age’ photographers such as George Hurrell.

“The result is, there’s greater truth to them. As a purist myself, I love their beauty.”

For that matter, Sandulak, who has been a still photographer on multiple Hollywood (and non-Hollywood) film productions in Winnipeg, appreciates the beauty of a good subject. Especially women.

“I adore women with grace and beauty,” she says. Indeed, the show reinforces precisely how and why some people look like movie stars. As cinematographer Nestor Almendros once explained in Projections magazine, the camera loves some women more than others — specifically, those with “good bones” and symmetrical faces.

“Actors definitely know which are their good and bad sides,” Sandulak says. It’s often been the case that her on-set subjects will articulate if a particular angle will flatter more, or less.’

Leave a Reply