The mugshot (and especially the celebrity mugshot) has become such a canonized aspect of the American consciousness that, at least to me, it transcends both originality and cliche. What I mean by that is: Mugshots are instantly recognizable and in a sense, unoriginal – however, they remain stylized in such a way that the viewer’s instant recognition classicizes the mugshot aesthetic. (Really, the same goes for anything “classic,” and I use that term tightly, as it seems to have been applied pretty loosely to things in the past). Anyway, I feel like featuring my favorite mugshots is an easy road to take, but a necessary one nonetheless.
So, once one acknowledges these preconceptions, I think mugshots can be a fascinating window into an individual’s naked personality. They reveal people at their most vulnerable – and it’s interesting to interpret how composed/distraught/stylish/smug/embarrassed/empowered/coy a person truly is at a given moment, (that is, if you subscribe to the theory of mugshots as a vehicle of personality deconstruction). To that end, here is a sampling of my favorite mugshots (celebrity, stylish and unknown, hat-adorned, and full body – none of which are mutually exclusive) that I’ve culled from the internet over the past few weeks.
Also, check out some of the new campaign photos for Levi’s, which feature some penetentary-themed shots (though not shot very well, in my opinion). Via DR&DR.