Wednesday 03rd August 2016Do You Look Like Van Gogh?
Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous painters of all time, and certainly the most famous Impressionist painter. While there is a great deal of controversy over whether or not he was ever photographed, he painted a number of self-portraits that have left us with little doubt about what he looked like.
Aside from the infamous missing ear, probably the most recognizable thing about him is his vivid red hair and haunting (or perhaps haunted) stare. If you have these qualities, albeit with both ears still attached, you may find yourself being rewarded and part of a new art project at the same time.
Canadian author and artist Douglas Coupland is on the hunt for Van Gogh lookalikes from around the world. He's hoping to create a sculpture of the famous artist, and is offering a prize of 5000 euros to the luckiest Van Gogh lookalike.
“I’m learning that most people have someone in their life who looks like Vincent van Gogh. It could be your next-door neighbour. It could be a guy at work. It could be you.” This writer can't think of anyone he knows who looks like Van Gogh, but perhaps that's the exception that proves the rule.
Coupland has set up a website, iamvincent.com, where people from all around the world can submit their images of friends, neighbours, co-workers or themselves to be judged in the lookalike competition. The lucky winner will receive the 5000 euro prize and be flown along with a friend to Vancouver, Canada, where Coupland is based. They will then be scanned in 3D in order to create a detailed model of the Van Gogh replica.
The final output will then be converted into a bronze statue, which Coupland hopes will be the first of many. It's somewhat amusing to consider that the genetics of red-haired people is one of the driving fascinations behind the piece for Coupland, but nobody will be expecting a bronze statue to have the particularly red hair that is one of Van Gogh's signature features.
One wonders if the actor who played Van Gogh in an episode of Doctor Who, Tony Curran, will be entering the competition - he's almost a perfect replica of Van Gogh. It's almost eerie!
Posted on August 03rd 2016 on 06:47pm
Monday 29th February 2016A Torrent of Images Catches the AP and the WPP
Just last week we posted about the World Press Photo competition, and the hauntingly gritty winning photo by Warren Richardson of refugees sneaking under razorwire to cross borders in the dead of night. All congratulations to him, but there's been a bit of embarrassment in the rest of the contest, as one of the winners in the People category had to be removed by the submitter - the Associated Press, of all groups.
The photos in question won third prize in the People category, a series by Daniel Ochoa de Olza featuring victims of the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris during 2015. According to the Associated Press, the photo series was submitted in error, which is a strange sort of excuse considering they stood up long enough to pass through the jury pool and be voted a winner.
Weirdly enough, de Olza had actually also won the second prize in the same category, so it isn't nearly as much of a hardship for him as it might first seem. Managing director Lars Boering of the World Press Photo Foundation, the organization that hosts the WPP event each year, said in a statement:
“The jury had an abundance of quality photography to choose from in each category, and our processes are organized so we can accommodate an unforeseen circumstance—such as the withdrawal of a story by the owner of the entry. We are delighted to give the third-prize award to Magnus Wennman, a very worthy winner. We’re sorry that Daniel Ochoa de Olza’s third-prize award cannot stand given the request to withdraw the entry, but we’re happy that Daniel has also won second prize in the same category for his ‘La Maya Tradition’ story. I’ve spoken with Magnus and Daniel to congratulate both of them and we’re very pleased they can join us in April for the Awards Days.”
It does sort of beg the question of relevancy, however. Perhaps de Olza's photos really are so spectacular, but the fact that the same photographer can win consecutive prizes in the same category makes one wonder if the World Press Photo contest is receiving sufficient attention in terms of submissions, or if there is something influencing the judge's opinions. Either way, it's sort of an embarrassment for everyone involved in the jury and submissions process, and simply a bit disappointing for de Olza. Here's hoping that next year will have a more varied crop of winners!
Posted on February 29th 2016 on 05:38pm