Alec Soth's Archived Blog

September 24, 2007

Doppelgängers

Filed under: Cat,goof — alecsothblog @ 10:55 pm

Last June I went to a party in New York. Alex Majoli was there and he said to me, “there is a guy here who looks exactly like you.” I forget his name, but this Cuban fellow really did feel like my Doppelgänger. I remember that when I looked at him, I couldn’t help but cover my own face:

A friend recently saw the movie 2 Days in Paris and told me that Adam Goldberg reminded him a lot of me:

But today takes the prize. A reader sent a link to a picture of the singer Devendra Banhart. When I first saw this image, I thought it was bad Photoshop fakery. (It isn’t, see the source here). Holy Crap! Is this guy my Bizarro Doppelgänger:


Yep, that is Chan

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29 Comments

  1. That Cuban artist is no other than Jose Parla. An extremely talented artist that brings street art to a whole new level. here’s his site http://www.joseparla.com/

    p.s.- he’s your twin

    Comment by Roberto Badillo — September 24, 2007 @ 11:24 pm

  2. This is too funny. It seems you’re not in such bad company then, Devendra Banhart is also pretty talented, if you’re into psychodelic folk, at least.

    Last week a venezuelan friend, also a photographer, did a similar post on his blog, only his bizarro was worse: a colombian narc leader. I repeat, you’re in good company.

    Comment by alfredo cottin — September 24, 2007 @ 11:48 pm

  3. Alec, could you please tell when is your birthday?

    Comment by Jay Watkins — September 25, 2007 @ 2:04 am

  4. Wow! These Doppelgängers of yours are really, really good.

    I had my own Doppelgänger experience in Minneapolis when I was eating at Safari Restaurant on Nicollet Avenue with some co-workers. I heard a strange voice from behind me say, “hey Jordan, bud it is nice to see you!” and when I turned around I had no recollection of him, his wife or the child they were holding. I insisted that there was some sort of a mix-up but he insisted equally, “Oh Jordan, you are always such a jokester!”

    Finally he grew frustrated with my non-recognition and pleaded with me in an exasperated tone, “Jordan Jacobsen, just cut it out!” so I handed him my license and showed him that I was indeed a different Jordan. He and his wife turned bright red and shook their heads, “the resemblance is uncanny!”

    Academically I’ve wanted to do a project on the phenomenon of Doppelgängers but around the hallowed halls of the U of MN I haven’t been able to get anybody from the CS department to buy into it. I wanted to write some software that finds the best match for a face from a database of faces. When the best match is found, it is removed from the database. Thus you could generate a sequence of images of people who look related but are not.

    I think your posting proves that you would get some interesting results! I think you would see many people who look like each other or look like relatives regardless of race and perhaps even gender. It would be fascinating!

    Ah well, one day when I get the time or perhaps one day when I see it produced by somebody else!

    Comment by Jordan — September 25, 2007 @ 3:58 am

  5. You kind of also look like Proust from this photo that Raul posted today: http://www.mexicanpictures.com/headingeast/2007/09/a-theory-1.html

    Comment by Jordan — September 25, 2007 @ 6:51 am

  6. The Mexican flag featured on Raul’s blog is similar to the as the Iranian flag – and doesn’t Alec bear more than a passing resemblance to Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad.

    Comment by colin pantall — September 25, 2007 @ 7:04 am

  7. Wow, one of the biggest living scumbags (Ahmadinedjad) and a picture of Proust dead…you know how to flatter a guy.

    Jay: 12/30/69

    Roberto, thanks for telling me about José Parlá. Just did a search online. Weird:

    Comment by Alec Soth — September 25, 2007 @ 8:33 am

  8. Holy crap! Dead ringer. That faint childhood memory of a Cuban milkman must be starting to raise a lot of questions.

    Comment by John — September 25, 2007 @ 8:55 am

  9. Prize!? There’s a prize?:))))))

    Comment by Alan George — September 25, 2007 @ 9:05 am

  10. just be glad you are not Meg White right now, speaking of dopplegangers.

    Comment by Paul McEvoy — September 25, 2007 @ 9:07 am

  11. Oddly, Adam Goldberg has also been called *my* Doppelgänger, though more in his “Dazed and Confused” incarnation (“I want to dance!” We were both younger) than his current mode. Then I was Pete Sampras and Ross from Friends (people actually approached me on the street and in bars to see if I was them). The weird thing is that our double change over time — we diverge and converge on new people.

    Comment by Peter F — September 25, 2007 @ 9:56 am

  12. As your friend for decades, I have to say that when Sienfeld first came on the air…

    Comment by Eric Z. — September 25, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

  13. Eric Z. Ha! Agreed! Of course Alec was (and still is) the better looking of the two.

    Comment by Heather F. — September 25, 2007 @ 3:45 pm

  14. Not sure about Devendra. I once danced with him on stage and from up close he doesn’t look much like you (plus, he wears a lot more makeup at his shows). I mean you wear Schwetty, but that’s not the same. Also, could Mr. Soth pull this off?

    Funny you mention him, though. Did you see my recent post about Tierney’s photos of him for The FADER? Also funny because I’ve got a ticket to see Devendra play tonight in Boston.

    Anyway, the other doppelgängers are spot on – especially the Cuban fellow. Very weird. And I have to admit, I thought the same thing of dead Proust when I saw Raul’s post. Sorry!

    Comment by Shane Lavalette — September 25, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

  15. Eric and Heather…What is this, a high school reunion? How Proustian. Ah, The Remembrance of Things Past.

    Comment by Alec Soth — September 25, 2007 @ 4:20 pm

  16. In that one picture you just like Jesus.

    Comment by Brent Clark — September 25, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

  17. A friend of mine found an ad in a photography mag for a fine art printing lab in New Jersey, about 15 years ago. There was a photo of the owner and he looked identical to me in every way, and my looks are fairly distinct. It was so startling and unnerving that I even had to call my parents and ask them if there was something that they had been keeping secret from me. There wasn’t…or so they say!

    Comment by Andy L — September 25, 2007 @ 8:25 pm

  18. A job interview once ended with the interviewer, unable to control himself, telling me I was the spitting image of a young Andrew Lloyd Webber. . . so just thank God you’re getting Devendra, Jose and Adam, not a rubber-faced composer. I didn’t even get the job.

    Comment by Alex Edouard — September 26, 2007 @ 5:04 am

  19. Maybe this is a stretch, but not as much of a stretch as Devendra Banhart (I am seeing him here in DC on Monday).

    Comment by Mark — September 26, 2007 @ 8:10 am

  20. P.S. I forgot to mention Amy Stein’s Googlegängers.

    Comment by Shane Lavalette — September 26, 2007 @ 10:56 am

  21. Hey Alec. Yet another doppelganger floating around, this time in the southeastcoincidence? Maybe he will be in attendance at the High???

    Comment by STEVIE — September 26, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

  22. But what kind of pictures would the Anti-Soth take?

    Comment by BartF — September 26, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

  23. The Southeast doppelganger: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stebbi/905473075/

    Comment by stevie — September 27, 2007 @ 8:08 am

  24. re Devendra B. – you must look for Red Ribbon video by Michel Gondry and a collaborator – it is exquisite. And who cares who we look like? I had someone everyone in my high school insisted looked exactly like me, and I never met her. But I did date someone who had exactly the same feet and whose family came from the same part of Poland. So there is this crazy thing called DNA that sometimes makes people look like us. If you live in NYC for any length of time, internationality is just a given. But in the Bay Area, fairly homogenous. hmmmm….

    sorry you’re hanging up the blog. hope it is temporary.

    Comment by vita — October 3, 2007 @ 6:34 pm

  25. I think I might be an Alec Soth doppelganger! Someone said to me the other night ‘You look exactly like this American photographer called Alec Soth. I mean REALLY EXACTLY like him!’ ‘Ok I’ll check him out.’ So I looked you up on the internet, and before finding this Doppelganger blog forum thing going on I realised that I already knew and liked your work (admittedly the name just hadn’t sunk in). I actually have a photograph of yours on my wall, cut out from an old ArtReview magazine, of a guy standing holding two model airplanes. I’m an artist based in the Northeast of England, running a small independent gallery called Gallery Glue. Check out the website if you’re interested. And this is me – at an art&food fair, posing with a butternut squash: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gluegroup/1424554569/in/set-72157602124814871/ Anyway its nice to know you have people who look just like you (or me) all over the world, isn’t it? Keep up the good work and the impressive beard my face brother. All the best, Mark x

    Comment by Mark — October 6, 2007 @ 10:36 am

  26. Actually this is possibly a better link for photos of me! : http://www.myspace.com/mpembrey

    Comment by Mark — October 6, 2007 @ 10:40 am

  27. [...] Aga pisze z NY o sobowtórze Kuby i w?a?nie mi si? przypomnia?o, ?e na zdj?ciach z aparatu, który by? zainstalowany na wystawie Kto kradnie jajka w lesie by?a posta? z brod?, która mi przypomina?a Kub?.. Dziwne rzeczy, Alec Soth te? ma sobowtóra: popatrzcie tu. [...]

    Pingback by hordziej | blog » Blog Archive » Accidentswillhappen — November 23, 2007 @ 7:24 am

  28. Alec,

    When are you going to start blogging again? I loved this blog when it was active. Bring it back!

    Comment by Andy — February 14, 2008 @ 11:07 am


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