What do redheads and your nightly glass of Pinot have in common? More than you’d think: not only are both the product of genetic mutation, but both redheads and Pinot Noir grapes constitute a mere 2% of their respective populations. It’s a coincidence that artist Douglas Coupland captures with the first of his ongoing series of monumental outdoor works, called Redheads. His debut piece is a giant, 2×3 meter bronze bust of arguably the most famous red-headed artist, Vincent van Gogh, resting on its side at Martin’s Lake Winery in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.
In order to find a model who could properly impersonate the long-dead artist, Coupland crowd-sourced the planet, eventually receiving over a thousand entries from 37 different countries. The artist—and half a million voters—eventually decided on Daniel Baker of Christchurch, England, as van Gogh’s official doppelgänger. Because Coupland was planning to use 3D models to create the piece, the match had to be more than skin deep. According to Coupland, “There is a science behind why people ‘look like themselves,’ and the final Vincent had to have the proper biometric data to match the artist.” Luckily, Daniel did. And we’re sure he’s thankful he didn’t have to lose an ear for the part.
Keep up to date with the series’ progress here.