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This story first appeared in the May 17 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
After a friend gave Diane Keaton a new photo book of ventriloquist dummies, the actress and collector of Americana kitsch flipped out.
“The pictures are astonishing and spooky,” she says of photographer/director Matthew Rolston‘s Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits (Pointed Leaf Press). So she called him up pronto, and before she knew it, Keaton had agreed to play host to his book party.
“Diane was so excited that I bribed her with a print,” admits Rolston, who’ll be feted May 10 at L.A.’s JF Chen gallery, which is mounting a pop-up exhibition of the works. The book is Rolston’s first fine-art project: The celebrity photog shot the dummies in close-up at the Vent Haven Museum of ventriloquism in Fort Mitchell, Ky., making them appear like horror movie characters.
Host Keaton thinks she got the better end of the deal. “All I have to do now is show up,” she says. “My kids were a little afraid of ‘Uncle Eddie’ when I first hung him, but they’re getting used to him.”
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