Toward the beginning of the pandemic, Annelisa Roseen started posting a photo of herself in make-up and costumes looking like a person who has a birthday on that day. The individual images are entertaining and impressive, but when you view the body of work as Instagram thumbnails, you get a much better sense of the variety, commitment, and skills Roseen has to make this work. It’s not just about the props and make-up, the expressions in her face, whether deadpan or over the top, are often the thing that make the connection to the celebrity.
What was the inspiration for this ongoing project?
I had seen that it was Gloria Steinem’s birthday; she is one of my heroes. So when I was brushing out my two-day-old pandemic bun I noticed I was sporting a kind of ’70s Gloria-frizz-do. So I took a selfie (no real make-up or costume) and posted a happy birthday to her. The next day I saw it was Lenard Nimoy’s birthday and thought “that would be funny” to do him today. I studied pics and read up on his life. And then I never stopped! I have been doing my #homageaday every day since then! Every day I pick someone whose work is inspiring or meaningful or has made an impact on culture. I love becoming these (big and small) icons each day! Most days I do an individual’s face, but sometimes I honor their image in a different way — like I did James Brown’s feet dancing on his birthday.