UK

Britain's Prime Ministers Are Merged Together In One In Ghostly Portrait

24/10/2014 12:35 BST | Updated 24/10/2014 12:59 BST

A photographer has created a series of images that creepily merge all the successive heads of government together in one ghostly portrait.

Conflicting policies and personality clashes aside, Alejandro Almaraz's project overlays between four and 40 photographs of some of the most powerful individuals in the world from the 1800's to the noughties, to show the "continuities of power".

In the introduction to the work, entitled "Portraits of Power", art and photography critic Vicky Goldberg says it is shocking how Almaraz's work shows that the “presentation of officialdom stays remarkably consistent within one nation over many years”.

“Though the presidents of any nation change with time - revolutions, coups, politics, elections, and death - the depictions and symbols of authority march on essentially unchanged,” she wrote.

The portraits are haunting in the way they bury history-making world leaders, Goldberg adds, saying "Abraham Lincoln has disappeared beneath his predecessors and successors."

But Britain, she writes, stands out for one distinctive reason; "a hint of blouse, pearls, and hair do" all left over by who else but Margaret Thatcher.

Portraits of power

With the majority of non-royal rulers opting for dark-coloured suits, Goldberg notes that of all the compositions “the most intrusive difference is a hint of blouse, pearls, and hair-do left over from Margaret Thatcher”.

The “presentations of power” hardly change, she writes, but there little similarity in the faces of the leaders - leaving each country’s portrait with a certain distinctiveness.

As Slate notes, with Almaraz’s methodology, even leaders who have ruled for many, many years and made a huge impact on a country’s history are lost in the blur of their predecessors and successors - perhaps signifying the “fleetingness of power”.

Several attempts over the ages have attempted to develop the “normal” face of a certain type of personality trait - from leadership to criminality - but with little success.

Click here to see the full works.