Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh: Empire State Building, New York City – Magnum Photos

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To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Magnum Photos, artist Eleanor Macnair has recreated 10 photographs from the photo agency’s history in Play-Doh. Celebrating both the agency’s heritage and its contemporary artists, works by Elliott Erwitt, Jim Goldberg, Martin Parr, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Alec Soth, Chris Steele-Perkins, Newsha Tavakolian, Thomas Dworzak and Paul Fusco have been re-imagined in vivid Play-Doh colors.

In the project Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh, Macnair remakes both familiar and lesser-known images in children’s modelling clay and posts the results to the internet via her blog and Instagram. A self-taught artist, her tools are amateur – off the shelf Play-Doh, a chopping board, a scalpel and an empty wine bottle as a rolling pin. After each sculpture is shot it is disassembled and the Play-Doh returned to respective pots to be used again for future renderings.

Empire State Building, New York City, 1955 by Elliott Erwitt

"I lived in New York for a couple of years when I was young and this image has always summed up some of my feelings about the city, its vastness, romance and possibilities. But also the loneliness. Rather than depicting the city with its sea of people, Elliott photographs a lone figure with the city as the backdrop rising through the fog. The image is originally black and white and one of the challenges of translating into colour is to make this work without drawing too much attention to the change. I chose to make the hat red, marking the individuality of the human figure against the muted tones of the cityscape." — Eleanor Macnair

These prints come in an edition of 70 and are signed, captioned and stamped on the back of the print.

  • Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh: Empire State Building, New York City, 1955 by Elliott Erwitt

  • Eleanor Macnair

Exclusively available from the Magnum Shop, artist Eleanor Macnair has recreated 10 photographs from the photo agency’s history in Play-Doh to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Magnum Photos.


To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Magnum Photos, artist Eleanor Macnair has recreated 10 photographs from the photo agency’s history in Play-Doh. Celebrating both the agency’s heritage and its contemporary artists, works by Elliott Erwitt, Jim Goldberg, Martin Parr, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Alec Soth, Chris Steele-Perkins, Newsha Tavakolian, Thomas Dworzak and Paul Fusco have been re-imagined in vivid Play-Doh colors.

In the project Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh, Macnair remakes both familiar and lesser-known images in children’s modelling clay and posts the results to the internet via her blog and Instagram. A self-taught artist, her tools are amateur – off the shelf Play-Doh, a chopping board, a scalpel and an empty wine bottle as a rolling pin. After each sculpture is shot it is disassembled and the Play-Doh returned to respective pots to be used again for future renderings.

Empire State Building, New York City, 1955 by Elliott Erwitt

"I lived in New York for a couple of years when I was young and this image has always summed up some of my feelings about the city, its vastness, romance and possibilities. But also the loneliness. Rather than depicting the city with its sea of people, Elliott photographs a lone figure with the city as the backdrop rising through the fog. The image is originally black and white and one of the challenges of translating into colour is to make this work without drawing too much attention to the change. I chose to make the hat red, marking the individuality of the human figure against the muted tones of the cityscape." — Eleanor Macnair

These prints come in an edition of 70 and are signed, captioned and stamped on the back of the print.