Ulric Collette: Artist’s Strange and Wonderful Family Franken-Photos

Photo by: Ulric Collette
Daughter/Father. Ariane, 13 and Andre, 55.
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Mon, Sep 10, 2012 2:28 PM EDT

Have you ever looked in the mirror and anxiously thought, "Oh no, I'm starting to look exactly like my mother/father?" Artist Ulric Collette's spliced family portraits affirm that it's not your imagination. Looking at the pictures he creates by merging portraits of two close relatives, you can see how their genetic overlap creates striking visual echoes across decades and genders. Strangely, some siblings morphed into one face appear to be more identical than twins. Flavorwire jokingly calls them Franken-photos.

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The first image in Collette's "Genetic Portrait" series, which he began in 2008, was a happy accident. "I was trying other things with a picture of me and a picture of my son," he tells Shine, "and this happened." Instead of aging his son using his own features as he intended, the result was a fascinating mash-up of two faces that share much of the same DNA. He posted the image on the photo sharing website Flickr, and it went viral. "I started using pictures of other family members and the project took off from there."

His latest series of images will be on display from October 2 to October 28 at the Centaur Theater's Seagram Art Gallery in Montreal.