The Accidental Miracle of the Genetic Portraits

Inspiration  /  Mashups
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If necessity is the mother of invention, then accident is its father. This is about as neat a metaphor as you could want for this Genetic Portraits series, a set of digital family portrait mashups by Canadian designer and self-taught photographer Ulric Collette.

“I was attempting to create something totally different with another project, and in the process I came up with the first picture, me and my then 7-year-old son,” Collette told the BBC. “I decided to try the same process with a few family members and the project was born.”

We’ve featured work by Bobby Neel Adams, who uses a technique he calls photo surgery to telescope time within portraits of a single person. Here, Collette tweaks the laws of physics one further, his portraits telescoping both time and DNA. The results, dense with questions of identity and family, are quietly miraculous, and endlessly fascinating.

From Ulric Collette's Genetic Portraits series
Daughter & Father: Amelie, age 33, and Daniel, age 60.
From Ulric Collette's Genetic Portraits series
Grandmother & Granddaughter: Ginette, age 61, and Ismaelle, age 12.

See the portraits morph into each other:



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