Photographs Rendered in Play-Doh: Subway, NYC 1980 by Bruce Davidson – 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.

Original photograph: Subway, NYC 1980 by Bruce Davidson

"On first glance, Bruce Davidson’s ‘Subway’ series shows a dark and dangerous side of New York in the early 1980s – you can almost hear, smell and feel the subway through these images. I was interested to see if there was some way to translate the extreme contrasts of shadow and colour into Play-Doh. I chose to try to remake this photograph of two young lovers… a glimpse of tenderness and humanity amongst the grit and the noise of the subway." — 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: Subway, NYC 1980 by Bruce Davidson

  • 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.

Original photograph: Subway, NYC 1980 by Bruce Davidson

"On first glance, Bruce Davidson’s ‘Subway’ series shows a dark and dangerous side of New York in the early 1980s – you can almost hear, smell and feel the subway through these images. I was interested to see if there was some way to translate the extreme contrasts of shadow and colour into Play-Doh. I chose to try to remake this photograph of two young lovers… a glimpse of tenderness and humanity amongst the grit and the noise of the subway." — Eleanor Macnair

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