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.
The image(s) that started it all — Son & Father: Nathan, age 7, and Ulric, age 29.
Father & Son: Denis, age 60, and Mathieu, age 25.
Daughter & Mother: Marie-Pier, age 18, and N’sira, age 49.
Sisters: Catherine, age 23, and Veronique, age 29.
Sisters: Marianne, age 32, and Sara, age 34.
Daughter & Mother: Marilene, age 35, and Rejeanne, age 64.
Brother & Sister: Jean-Philippe, age 29, and Veronique, age 27.
Sister & Brother: Ismaelle, age 12, and Nathan, age 11.
Brothers: Loyd, age 30, and Jean-Philippe, age 27.
Father & Son: Claude, age 54, and Benoit, age 23.
Cousins: Ulric and Justine.
Sisters: Justine and Emilie.
Daughter & Mother: Pascale and Ghislaine.
Brothers: Dany, age 31, and Eric, age 39.
Sister & Brother: Pascale and David.
Sisters: Catherine, age 26, and Veronique, age 32.
Twins: Laurence and Christine, age 25.
Sisters: Elodie, age 24, and Audrey, age 30.
Daughter & Mother: Sam, age 15, and Mireille, age 37.
Mother & Daughter: Mireille, age 37, and Juliette, age 13.
Daughter & Mother: Maxim, age 16, and Mireille, age 37.