Warhead I (55% Reagan, 45% Brezhnev, less than 1% each of Thatcher, Mitterand, and Deng) – 1982
Computer Composite

Left: Beauty Composite 1 (Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelley, Sophia Loren, and Marilyn Monroe)
Right: Beauty Composite 2 (Jane Fonda, Jacqueline Bisset, Diane Keaton, Brooke Shields, and Meryl Streep) – 1982
Computer Composites

Aged Barbie – 1994
Computer composite

Androgyny (6 men + 6 women) – 1982
Computer composite


Untitled (Snake Man) – 1989
Polaroid from computer composite negative 24 x 20 in.


The artist Nancy Burson was the first person to experiment with morphing images digitally. She portrayed many aspects of the theme identity in the ways in which she chose to morph certain photos together. For instance, Warhead I (the first listed photo) is a collection of world leaders and their features are portrayed based upon the percentage of nuclear arsenals they posses. I was intrigued by the fact that not only did she collaborate ideas of relatedness, such as the collection of different leaders, but she also portrayed each feature of the identity in a quantitative aspect as well. In another work of hers she morphed the figures of people with different ethnicity in addition, this time she weighted each feature upon population statistics to show an overall composite expressing one person with the proportional features of the overall population. Nancy Burson’s works of art exemplify the fluidity of identities, in such that the identity of people change as they interconnect with different surroundings. Other works of hers will exemplify the ways in which she manipulated photos using a digital computer program.

SOURCE: Themes of Contemporary Art. OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS 2013


ClampArt:  http://clampart.com/?s=nancy+burson

Contemporary Art: http://www.marthagarzon.com/contemporary_art/2011/02/nancy-burson-race-beauty-power/