Contestants in Douglas Coupland's I Am Vincent competition (screen shot by the author)

Contestants in Douglas Coupland’s I Am Vincent competition (screenshot by the author)

Calling all bearded redheads: Canadian artist and author Douglas Coupland is combing the planet in search of Vincent van Gogh’s closest lookalike. The most convincing doppelgänger will win €5,000 ($5,689) and a trip to Vancouver. There, Coupland will 3D-scan the winner’s face and create a bronze sculpture after his likeness.

Called “I Am Vincent,” the sculpture will be the first installment of Redheads, a series dedicated to the gingers of the world. Why? Because redheadedness, which occurs in 1–2% of the global population, “is the most recent successful human mutation,” Coupland writes. The “genetic magic” exemplified by redheadedness “is a microcosm of the way in which all life on Earth changes with time. I want this first bronze piece to be eternal but I also want it to be imbued with the twenty-first century. I’d like it to trigger discussion about new relationships between science, art and globalization.”

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Contestants in Douglas Coupland’s I Am Vincent competition (screenshot by the author)

If you look like van Gogh and that sounds like something your face can do, upload a photo of yourself to the I Am Vincent website, where viewers are voting for the painter’s most convincing double. Currently leading is Ivar Arpi, an editorial writer for the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet who’s got a piercing stare. Trailing in third place is our hometown contender, Brooklyn resident Robert Reynolds, star of the web series The van Gogh Show. With a red beard, hooded eyes, prominent cheekbones, and a slightly haunted expression, Reynolds started making his five-minute comedy shorts after strangers kept commenting on his uncanny resemblance to the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter. Unfortunately, according to the I Am Vincent voters thus far, Reynolds doesn’t hold a candle to Arpi.

There are nearly 500 more contestants vying for the van Gogh doppelgänger crown. Vote for your favorite here.

Carey Dunne is a Brooklyn-based writer covering arts and culture. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Baffler, The Village Voice, and elsewhere.

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