Novelist Nelson Algren was Simone de Beauvoir’s lover when they were both around forty. When Beauvoir visited him in Chicago, Algren asked his friend, photographer Art Shay, to find a bathtub for Madame as he was living in a bathless ten-buck-a-month apartment and used a public bath that was not yet up to letting women inside.
“I knew a nice young advertising lady in the area, and she left her key outside for me and I drove Simone down to the apartment. She got in the bathroom and left the door open. …As a young photographer, I had always my trusty wartime Leica Model F with me. This day was no exception. …So I was there, intern photographer for Life Magazine (originally hired to carry the bags and write captions), when I saw Beauvoir emerged from the bath and doing her hair before the mirror. I took two or three quick shots and she heard the click. ’You’re a naughty boy,’ she said, but without closing the door.” – Art Shay
Sixtythree years later photographer Sandro Miller decided to do a project honoring the masters whose photographs helped shape his career. After selecting thirty-five images to recreate, Miller contacted John Malkovich, who instantly agreed to participate. Below is one of the images they created with Malkovich donning a pair of heels to get in character for his portrayal of Simone de Beauvoir as an homage to Art Shay’s 1950 original candid.
The whole set, among them recreations of images by Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz, Bert Stern, or David Baily could be seen here.