Photography

Celebrity Cover

Mandelbrot

We were trying to find a cover image among a stack of Tom Abrahamson’s photographs, which we were passing around the editorial table. A lot of intense look­ing went on, and very little talk, until Eve said: you know, if we want a strong cover, there’s really only one choice. She had the Marilyn Monroe in her hand. Ev­eryone began laughing and talking at the same time. Such was the genesis of the Geist celebrity cover, which seems to us to demonstrate the power of celebrity imag­ery while doing nothing much to explain it. We won­dered briefly whether a photograph of a celebrity image on wallpaper might at some deeper level be seen as a species of commentary on the hypnotic grasp celebrity images have on our imaginations—or at least whether such thinking might provide a smokescreen behind which we could sneak a celebrity onto our own cover without blushing. Have a look at other magazine covers next time you’re at a newsstand and you’ll see what we’re up against. Last month we heard another Canadian publisher claim that the lack of Canadian celebrities was forcing them to use the American variety on their covers. This is faulty thinking of course: celebrity culture is American before it can be anything else, and the only place celebrities are made is the USA. So you can see what we have to do to get "our own" celebrities. In the meantime, does anyone recognize the guy on the left in this alternative celebrity shot?

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