Identical Twins Homage

Fascinating how normal and complex at the same time one single image can be.

identical twins homage

Identical twins photo by Diane Arbus (1923-1971)is one of the most popular of Arbus’s work with a big influence in pop culture that has made it an iconic piece. One of the most popular homages of this piece was done by Stanley Kubrick in his movie “The Shining” where a set of creepy and scary Identical twins, dressed the same and staged close appeared in a narrow hall of a hotel resembling Arbus’s original work. This is one of the reasons why this piece got my attention to try to make my own reproduction.

Trying to recreate the original work as it is, was challenging because it is hard to imitate what the photographer was trying to capture at that precise moment.

The photo Identical Twins was taken at a Christmas party held for local twins and triplets at the Knights of Columbus hall in Roselle, New Jersey in 1967. Arbus used a 2-1/4 inch square format twin-lens Rolleiflex camera to capture it.

Diane Arbus approach to Portrait photography style was very particular; her subjects were very uncommon. She directed her attention to those in the margins of society creating a unique “psychoanalytic” vision of humanity.identical_twinsAt a first glance, we observed a portrait of a set of Identical twins as it is named, however as we look in the connotative aspects of the image, it reflects Arbus’s concern with identity and difference according to Clark Graham in his book The Photographer.

On the surface the photograph seems to be symmetrical in its composition, the subjects are standing in the center of a framed squared image with matching dresses, headbands and stockings. They are looking directly at the camera in front of a white wall background not letting us know about the time or space it was taken, and then when we taught it was all too similar we started noticing all the differences between the subjects. Their facial expressions are different, their faces, their body language even the background where the horizon line is not parallel as we thought it was.


△ I used a DSLR  Canon 60D with a 18-55mm lens to take my photographs in a raw format and edited them in Photoshop. This project was created during the Winter of 2017.

△ Big Thanks to Lily and Keitha for their help doing this project.


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