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For a while I thought it would be fun to collect police mug shots of famous people who’d gone to jail. I gave up on the idea, but I do think there is almost perfect about mugshots. They are visual documentation stripped down to its barest form. It’s fun to arrange mug shots in a grid, the way Bernd and Hilla Becher arranged their plain images of factories and water towers, to create a kind of typology of burned-out celebrities.
In the case of OJ Simpson, we can also look at the passage of time, captured in still pictures. The mugshot at left from made famous after his arrest for murder in the 1994. The mug shot at right is from his most recent arrest, for kidnapping and other crimes.–David Schonauer