New Work: Obama Vs. Romney in ‘The Atlantic’
Let’s get ready to rumble! For the September issue of The Atlantic, on newsstands today, Pentagram staged the Fight of the Century—or at least the next four years—between presidential contenders Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Luke Hayman and his team collaborated with the renowned lookalike photographer Alison Jackson to mount the bout at the iconic Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. The photos accompany “Slugfest,” a cover story by James Fallows about the upcoming presidential debates. The brawling President Obama and presumed Republican nominee Romney illustrate the increasing brutality of the discourse in today’s polarized political world.
The September issue is the latest in a series Hayman has art directed for The Atlantic over the past year, following our redesign of the magazine in 2008.
For the shoot Jackson and her team flew in from London and worked with a local crew to create a realistically gritty match, including a wardrobe stylist who outfitted each contender with the appropriate red or blue gloves, and a make-up artist who inflicted a prosthetic swollen eye and some nasty bruising. A referee and pair of trainers were on hand to make sure the fight was fought cleanly and fairly and with a minimum of trash-talking. President Obama called in the big guns for his corner: Tommy Gallagher, celebrity trainer of champions including Vito Antuofermo, Donny Lalonde and Lou Savarese. Both candidates took a pounding and went the distance for multiple rounds.
So who won? You’ll have to wait for November 6.
Hayman writes about the making of the cover shoot in a blog post for The Atlantic.
Pentagram Project Team: Luke Hayman, partner-in-charge and creative director; Regan Johnson, designer; Ayana Quint, photo editor.
Alison Jackson Studios Team: Alison Jackson, director/producer; Sabina Sattar, production manager; Aki Ikeno, production assistant; Andrew Farrar and John Schindler, video/stills camera assistants; Anna Flagor and Emma Savill, styling and wardrobe; Krystal Michel, make-up and hair; Eric Medsker, retoucher; Tetsu Wakabayashi, production runner.
Cast: Mike Cote (Mitt Romney), Louis Ortiz (Barack Obama), Tommy Gallagher (Trainer #1), Hector Roca (Trainer #2), Yoshi Kono (Referee).