The dynamic work of sculptor Gaylord Ho is instantly recognizable. Emotion oozes from the figures, as they throw their energy into dancerly poses. His female figures twist and twirl, animated and vital. Born in Taiwan, the 66-year-old artist has a fascinating personal history. Growing up as the son of low income farmers, Ho was expected to balance his studies while helping on the rice farm.
On his travels across the world, Canadian photographer Franois Brunelle finds unrelated people who look alike and gets them into a studio together to take a family portrait. They say everyone has a twin out there in the world and Brunelle’s I’m not a look-alike! project certainly makes a strong visual argument for that statement. The lighthearted black and white portraits force the viewer to scrutinize every little aspect of each person to try and find the similarities and differences. Surprisingly, there are a lot of of visual parallels!
By dressing his subjects in similar outfits and composing them in typical awkward studio portraits that families are known to take, Brunelle sets up each shot to fool the viewer into thinking each respective set is some sort of related pair–whether that false notion be that they are siblings, parent-and-child, cousins, or even twins. In some cases, the resemblances feel uncanny, right down to their smile. In other instances, there are a few contrasting aspects to the pair’s appearances that would normally lead one to believe they were distant relatives. It’s absolutely mind-boggling to think that these people don’t share any family lineage.
If you like this project, check out Frauke Theilking’s Generation series, where actual family members are juxtaposed.