Nancy Burson, First and Second Beauty Composites
First and Second Beauty Composites (Left: Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe. Right: Jane Fonda, Jacqueline Bisset, Diane Keaton, Brooke Shields, Meryl Streep.)
Nancy Burson, Androgyny
Androgyny (6 Men + 6 Women)
Nancy Burson, Mankind
Mankind (The images used are from a 19th-century book of racial stereotypes and were weighted to reflect current world population statistics)
Nancy Burson, Warhead I
Warhead I (Reagan 55%, Brezhnev 45%, Thatcher less than 1%, Mitterand less than 1%, Deng less than 1%)
Nancy Burson, He with She and She with He
He With She and She With He
Nancy Burson, Aged Self-portrait
Five Self-portraits at Ages 18, 30, 45, 60, and 70
Nancy Burson, Male Actor Composites
First and Second Male Movie Star Composites (Left: Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart. Right: Richard Gere, Christopher Reeve, Mel Gibson, Warren Beatty, Robert Redford.)
Nancy Burson, Businessman
Businessman (10 Businessmen from Goldman Sachs)
Nancy Burson, Cog and Dat
Cog and Dat
Nancy Burson, Happy Dog
Happy Dog
Nancy Burson, Lion Lamb
Nancy Burson, Happy Fish
Happy Fish
Nancy Burson, The Dead
The Dead
Nancy Burson, Aged Barbie
Aged Barbie
Nancy Burson, Untitled
Nancy Burson, Aged Marilyn Monroe
Aged Marilyn Monroe
Nancy Burson, Aged JFK
Aged JFK
Nancy Burson, Untitled
Nancy Burson, Doll's Eyes
Nancy Burson, Alien Eyes
Nancy Burson, Baby Marilyn
Baby Marilyn
Nancy Burson, Untitled (Bug-Eyed Woman)
Nancy Burson, Untitled
Nancy Burson, Evolution II (Chimpanzee and Man)
Evolution II

Since the inception of her career as an artist, Nancy Burson has been interested in the interaction of art and science. Starting in the early 1980s, in collaboration with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Burson began to produce computer-generated composite protraits. The work was informed by centuries of social, scientific, and pseudo-scientific study of the human face (physiognomy, phrenology, etc.). However, Burson’s attitude toward science was always laced with a touch of irony, and her early composites exhibit a keen awareness of the absurdities embedded in many of the historic theories with which we are now familiar. From the start, Burson’s work was conceptually challenging, as she addressed issues not only concerning science, but also race, biology, politics, ethics, and much more.

Work by Nancy Burson

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