I think this is apropos the previous post (and Greg Smith's comment especially)—certainly when you see this picture flash by in the slide show at the website for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2008 at the National Portrait Gallery (London), it registers as what it's supposed to look like and not what it is. The text from the site:
The Second Prize was awarded to Hendrik Kerstens for Bag, 2007
Hendrik Kerstens was born in 1956 in The Hague, Netherlands. Winner of the 2001 Dutch Panl Award, Kerstens is a self-taught photographer who initially turned to a model close at hand, his daughter Paula. Since starting to photograph Paula in 1995 Kersten’s work has been exhibited in over 40 exhibitions across Europe and the United States. In his portraits Paula is always depicted as being austere, serene and illuminated with a characteristic ‘dutch’ light. In September he will open his first solo New York exhibition at the Witzenhausen Gallery. Kersten’s short-listed portrait was conceived in New York when he noticed the excessive amount of plastic bags given away in shops. As a humorous reaction to this environmental problem he photo- graphed the plastic bag in the style of a seventeenth century cap.
Cool, huh? At least if you've studied art history.
(This is also a good example of an idea that works but not necessarily because of the idea. What many people might have made of this concept wouldn't have been much of anything. Hendrik Kerstens makes the idea seem like a good one only because he pulls it off so well visually.)
Mike (Thanks to Iñaki Arbelaiz)
Featured Comment by Craig Arnold: "The print on show at the National Portrait Gallery is very large and visually stunning. It was one of my favorites from this year's finalists."