Elsfies: Vladimir Antaki’s Unique Celebrity ‘Selfies’

Aubrey Plaza - Elsfies - Photo by Vladimir Antaki

Photographer Vladimir Antaki has a unique take on selfies with his celebrity portrait series Elsfies.


Ellie Goulding - Elsfies - Photo by Vladimir Antaki

Ellie Goulding

Each portrait in the Elsfies series shows a celebrity holding a small photo of Antaki himself. Many of the people pose with the picture in a funny or creative way, such as Jimmy Fallon sticking it on his forehead or Aubrey Plaza holding it in her mouth.

The artist calls them “A selfie before the selfie era.” Antaki began this project six years ago, and it now includes dozens of celebrities including film-makers Spike Lee and George A. Romero, musicians Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, and Mika, actors Kevin Kline, Karl Urban, AnnaLynne McCord, Juliette Binoche, Ray Wise, and Mark Hamill, and many more. There are also lots of photos with random, non-celebrity, people.

The photos are all widely different: some in black and white and some in colour, some in a studio or at a red carpet and some on the street, some like snapshots and others edited with filters and frames. I like this opportunistic quality, and I also like how it’s a bit of self-promotion for the photographer — the picture he has people pose with is also his business card, with his phone number visible underneath his photo, and the card itself resembling a Polaroid-style instant photo.

Antaki is from Canada. arthaus also recently featured his series The Guardians, a series of environmental portraits of shopkeepers or “guardians of urban temples” from across the world.

Jimmy Fallon - Elsfies - Photo by Vladimir Antaki

Jimmy Fallon


John Landis - Elsfies - Photo by Vladimir Antaki

John Landis


Abel Ferrara - Elsfies - Photo by Vladimir Antaki

Abel Ferrara


George A. Romero - Elsfies - Photo by Vladimir Antaki

George A. Romero


Aubrey Plaza - Elsfies - Photo by Vladimir Antaki

Aubrey Plaza


Lady Gaga - Elsfies - Photo by Vladimir Antaki

Lady Gaga


Ray Wise - Elsfies - Photo by Vladimir Antaki

Ray Wise


Spike Lee - Elsfies - Photo by Vladimir Antaki

Spike Lee


Tom is a writer, artist, and multi-media guru from Pennsylvania, U.S. He holds a Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication, but he has also taken several university-level courses in fine arts, art appreciation, graphic design, printmaking, and Asian art. He has been blogging for Monde Mosaic since February 2014.

1 Comment

  • Reply October 8, 2014

    Vladimir Antaki

    Thanks a lot Tom for this great article. I stumbled upon it by accident, yesterday 🙂
    All the best from Montreal ! Cheers, V

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