Quill and Quire

Book news

« Back to

Douglas Coupland searching for the head of Vincent Van Gogh

gumhead CouplandAuthor and artist Douglas Coupland has moved on from creating large-headed sculptures out of chewing gum to a new muse: redheads.

To kick off what sounds like a potential new series, Coupland is looking for a model who best resembles artist Vincent van Gogh. The lucky doppelgänger will receive €5,000, and be flown to Vancouver for a 3-D scan of their head, which will become the basis of a two-metre-by-three-metre bronze bust. The model will also have their name exhibited on an accompanying plaque.

Coupland’s fascination with redheads is explained in a press release:

“I’d like it to trigger discussion about new relationships between science, art and globalization,” states Coupland.

Redheadedness is the most recent successful human mutation. Between one and two per cent of the world’s population is redheaded, and in north European and western countries, this number can rise to six per cent. It appears in people with two copies of a recessive allele on chromosome 16 which produces an altered version of the MC1R protein. This is a complex way of saying that there is no way of telling when a gene is going to change, and what sort of characteristic it will bring about. This genetic magic 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.