Alison Jackson

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Alison Jackson
Alison Jackson at Haifa Museum of Art (2).jpg
Alison Jackson, Haifa Museum of Art, March 2017
Alison Mowbray-Jackson

15 May 1960 (1960-05-15) (age 58)
Southsea, Hampshire, England
EducationChelsea College of Art and Design
Royal College of Art
OccupationArtist, photographer

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.

Celebrity culture is a high-volume perpetuation of celebrities' personal lives on a global scale. It is inherently tied to consumer interests where celebrities transform their fame to become product brands.

A look-alike, double, or doppelgänger is a person, real or fictitious, who closely resembles another person—respectively, real or fictitious—in appearance.


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.


March 2017: Alison Jackson signing her book after lecturing at the Haifa Museum of Art Alison Jackson at Haifa Museum of Art, signs her book (5).jpg
March 2017: Alison Jackson signing her book after lecturing at the Haifa Museum of Art

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. [1] Shifting her focus, Jackson earned an MA in Fine Art Photography from the Royal College of Art, London.

Royal College of Art public research university in London, in the United Kingdom

The Royal College of Art (RCA) is a public research university in London, United Kingdom. The only entirely postgraduate art and design university in the world, it offers postgraduate degrees in art and design to students from over 60 countries. As of 2019, the RCA has placed first in the QS World University Rankings in the Art and Design subject area for five consecutive years.

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'. [2]

Legitimacy, in traditional Western common law, is the status of a child born to parents who are legally married to each other, and of a child conceived before the parents obtain a legal divorce. Conversely, illegitimacy has been the status of a child born outside marriage, such a child being known as a bastard, or love child, when such a distinction has been made from other children. In Scots law, the terminology of natural son or natural daughter has the same implications. The prefix "Fitz-" added to a surname sometimes denoted that the child's parents were not married at the time of birth.

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."[ citation needed ]

Jackson was the artist behind BBC Two's series in 2003 known as Doubletake , for which she won a BAFTA. [3] [4] 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 . [5]

BBC Two second television channel operated by the BBC

BBC Two is the second flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tends to broadcast more "highbrow" programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio channels, it is funded by the television licence, and is therefore free of commercial advertising. It is a comparatively well-funded public-service network, regularly attaining a much higher audience share than most public-service networks worldwide.

George W. Bush 43rd president of the United States

George Walker Bush is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He had previously served as the 46th governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000.

Tony Blair Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. He was Leader of the Opposition from 1994 to 1997. As of 2017, Blair is the last British Labour Party leader to have won a general election.

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. [2]

In October 2012, Jackson presented her work at the exhibition Art Below Regents Park in Regent's Park Tube station, to coincide with Frieze Art Fair.

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. [6]

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.

TV work

Jackson photo: "Trump" taking a selfie with beauty queens; all are lookalikes 4 - TRUMP SELFIE NONBLUR IMG 6535.jpg
Jackson photo: "Trump" taking a selfie with beauty queens; all are lookalikes
Jackson photographing the Royal Family, posed by lookalikes BTS NOTHS 2 0205.jpg
Jackson photographing the Royal Family, posed by lookalikes
Bush Rubix Cube], by Alison Jackson Bush Rubix Cube.jpg
Bush Rubix Cube], by Alison Jackson
Hair blow, with Trump lookalike], by Alison Jackson KR IMG 3760 hair blow lb MIDDLE FINGERS.jpg
Hair blow, with Trump lookalike], by Alison Jackson


Art exhibitions



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  1. Groves, Nancy."The science of art", Newsquest, 13 April 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2008.
  2. 1 2 Garfield, Simon (7 June 2007). "The real Tony uncovered". The Observer Review. London. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  3. "That's Blair and Becks! No wait..." BBC News Online Magazine . 18 December 2003. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  4. Ferrier, Morwenna (23 January 2011). "Alison Jackson: "I'd love to do Piers Morgan. I'd just use Susan Boyle. They're identical"". The Guardian Review. London. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  5. "Photographer Alison Jackson gives up hope of finding Gordon Brown look-alike". The Telegraph. 25 October 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2017.
  6. Bryant, Miranda (25 October 2016). "Donald Trump takes Times Square by storm with topless and bikini-clad babes". The Mail Online Review. London. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  7. "163 - TRUMP AND MISS MEXICO by Alison Jackson". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  8. "La Trashiata": A Story in the Public Domain, BBC at the Edinburgh Festivals 2015
  9. Crick, Michael (22 August 2014). ""La Trashiata": satirising celebrity culture the Alison Jackson way". Channel 4. Retrieved 1 December 2015. ... 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."