If you’ve seen risqué photos of Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince George cropping up all over the internet, then you’ve been the unknowing victim of Alison Jackson’s work. The photographer describes herself as a contemporary artist, drawn to the glittering world of celebrities.
Straight from her website’s bio:
Jackson makes convincingly realistic work about celebrities doing things in private using lookalikes. Likeness becomes real and fantasy touches on the believable. She creates scenarios we have all imagined but never seen – the hot images the media can’t get.
Jackson raises questions about whether we can believe what we see when we live in a mediated world of screens, imagery and internet. She comments on our voyeurism, on the power and seductive nature of imagery, and on our need to believe.
You could say that her business struck gold when she started imagining what the Cambridge’s private life looked like. Some of the photos draw at your heartstrings, depicting Kate, Wills and Georgy enjoying an afternoon together reading magazines or picnicking in Kensington Park; others make you gasp, such as the photo of Prince William breastfeeding. No one wants to see that.
Ms. Jackson’s photos certainly give royal fans a glimpse of what private life is like for the Cambridges. The question is, how do we know when artistic expression crosses the line?
Sure, we all want to see what Kate and Wills do when the cameras aren’t following them. Do they eat dinner as a family? Does Kate cook and clean their massive Kensington home? Who puts Prince George down for his nap? At the end of the day, they’re still just a regular family, only with international stardom status.
Does Alison Jackson’s work demoralize the sanctity of privacy? We all wonder what transpires behind closed doors. It’s the mystery that intrigues us. But does that make it ok to plant in the mind’s of millions of young fans false images of celebrities doing bawdy and unthinkable things? The Cambridges very may well have family bath time, but those details shouldn’t be broadcast to the international community. We’re talking about the future leader of a Commonwealth. No one needs to see their future King and Queen bathing together.
Ms. Jackson may as well ask the real royals to be in her photographs because in this day and age, perception is reality. Fans can’t distinguish between lookalikes and the real Kate, Wills and George. It may be innocent and in-demand art, but Ms. Jackson’s celebrity private life fixation photography only hurts the real royal’s reputation.