George Clooney, Cat Person

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This weekend brings the third annual version of the New York Times Magazine‘s Hollywood Issue–er, ah, “Great Performers photographic portfolio.” Because, y’know, it’s not about cramming the magazine with photographs of celebrities; it’s about cramming the magazine with photographs of artists. Or, as the magazine puts it, “Twenty-four portraits that limn the faces and bodies of 26 actors–some tabloid famous, others all but unknown–in ways that startle, seduce and reveal.”

Thus the self-loathing celebrity-sniffers at the Times Magazine, following the lead of the self-loathing celebrity-sniffers at Vanity Fair, have set out to make this year’s issue as icky as possible. You see, it’s not really starfucking if it’s kinky.

So where Vanity Fair had Tom Ford turn Reese Witherspoon into a creepy child sex-doll, the Times Magazine has Ines van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin turn Reese Witherspoon into a creepy greaseball junkie covered with fake neck tattoos. And where Tom Ford surrounded George Clooney with damp ladies in unwashed-looking underwear, van Lamsweerde and Matadin limn a subtly Manimal-ized Clooney, with cat-pupil eyes.

Now, that’s the sort of startling, revealing movie-star image subversion you don’t see every day…Oh, wait:

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George Clooney, Cat Person