Nelson barber competes in Van Gogh lookalike contest

Jesse Lockhart capitalized on striking resemblance to deceased artist for Douglas Coupland project.

Both of his ears are still intact, but otherwise Nelson barber Jesse Lockhart is a dead-ringer for Vincent Van Gogh. And though he’s got his eyes on a €5,000 euro prize for a global lookalike contest, he wasn’t willing to disfigure himself like the hyper-famous deceased artist.

“I was willing to sever a limb, but not necessarily one needed for my trade one of something, though,” joked Nelson barber Jesse Lockhart, who competed in the online contest earlier in the summer.

“I admire his dedication to the craft, but I wouldn’t go that far.”

The contest was created by Vancouver artist and author Douglas Coupland, who has also created a sculpture of Canadian icon Terry Fox. He’s planning an ongoing sculpture project that will feature a series of redheads, starting with Van Gogh.

The winner’s face will be used to create a bronze piece that will include the model’s name on a plaque.

“I was stumbling off a three-day absinthe binge,” joked Lockhart. “I looked in the mirror and said ‘I think I’ve got something here.’ Then when I came across the contest I found hundreds of people that could’ve been my Dad.”

And though Van Gogh wasn’t recognized for his artistry during his lifetime, Lockhart aims to avoid the same mistake.

“For me, my artistic practice started about seven years ago when I first started getting into the tonsorial arts,” he said. “That’s what I consider now to be my contribution.”

So every time someone walks out of Windsor Barber looking clean-shaven and sharp, he feels like he’s contributing to the aesthetic appeal of the community.

The way he sees it: “My gallery is everywhere.”

Meanwhile, Coupland’s search has reached the semifinal stage.

“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,” writes Coupland online.

“This Van Gogh bronze will be the first of an ongoing series of commissioned monumental outdoor works titled ‘Redheads.’ Following Vincent van Gogh will be any number of redheads.”

Lockhart received hundreds of votes in the contest, but hasn’t been paying much attention since falling behind the huge number of gingers competing worldwide.

To follow the global search for Van Gogh’s lookalike and to learn more information about Coupland’s project check out iamvincent.com and the hashtag #iamvincent.

 

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