He finds the corsets very uncomfortable.
February 20, 2017 12:36 PM   Subscribe

Christian Fuchs: The man who dresses up as his ancestors.
posted by jacquilynne (32 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Cool project and all, but I would think that the costumer and makeup artist deserve more than a cursory mention.
posted by philip k dong at 1:06 PM on February 20, 2017 [12 favorites]


Are the picture on the right portraits of him or are they the original portraits?
posted by gt2 at 1:12 PM on February 20, 2017


Is this an Assassin's Creed tie in?
posted by dinty_moore at 1:12 PM on February 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


Oh man, these are wonderful. This'd be easy to do half-ass and still get something out of, but his attention to detail in the execution is in great and really elevates it.
posted by cortex at 1:26 PM on February 20, 2017 [5 favorites]


I was left wondering what he does with the costumes afterwards..... unless he wears them around the house or something? Neat project though, if you've got the money to spare for custom tailoring, the custom jewelry making, plus the professional makeup and hair (and you've got to figure those un-named makeup & hair folks probably do him several times for each portrait, to get them just right).
posted by easily confused at 1:28 PM on February 20, 2017


What an expensive hobby.
posted by French Fry at 1:41 PM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


This is cool. I'm jealous that he has access to such beautiful likenesses of people in his family.
posted by delight at 1:49 PM on February 20, 2017 [8 favorites]


It's pretty great he can fit this in in his spare time from his day job.
posted by asterix at 2:06 PM on February 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


I think that's a different Fuchs than this guy, asterix: your link is to an Austrian footballer, this post is a Peruvian artist/photographer/ex-lawyer.
posted by easily confused at 2:14 PM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


What an expensive hobby.

It looks like his work is on sale by at least one respectable-looking gallery in editions of 5 for between $3,000 and $5,000 each and some of the images are produced in different formats, so he's getting even more prints out of a single image. His bio mentions many different solo and group shows as well. Seems a bit dismissive to call it a "hobby" - he's a working artist.
posted by cilantro at 2:15 PM on February 20, 2017 [13 favorites]


I think that's a different Fuchs than this guy, asterix: your link is to an Austrian footballer, this post is a Peruvian artist/photographer/ex-lawyer.

Before clicking the link I thought this was about the Marxist media theorist.
posted by mediated self at 2:35 PM on February 20, 2017


I think that's a different Fuchs than this guy, asterix

It totally is! I was just making a dumb joke.
posted by asterix at 2:54 PM on February 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


This guy, Fuchs.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:59 PM on February 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


Stunning work. I really would have been fooled by a couple of those as paintings.
I appreciate his gender-neutral approach: all of these people were part of his heritage and his family's life, and there's something of him in all of them.
Sometimes I have seen my own expression in a pre-1920s family photo, and it has always been unsettling, even though I know very well it isn't actually a precursor of my haunted, maddened gaze but an artifact of having to sit totally still and stare for about a minute while the camera worked. In any case, my ancestors, though self-sufficient people, did not possess outfits of any great distinction to wear when the photographer came to town, excepting one or two that were fond of their gray uniforms.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:30 PM on February 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


While the makeup artist deserves some major credit, the family resemblance is strong.
posted by erst at 3:32 PM on February 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


More on Dorothea Viehmann, an interesting woman in her own right
posted by BWA at 4:21 PM on February 20, 2017


"Considering we share the same genes, could I actually look like her?"

A nice example of what we might call the folk theory of ancestry-- that descendents of a person have the "same genes" forever and will look like them. He's talking about his great-great-great-great-grandmother: unless there was a lot of cousin marriage in the family, he has 1/64 of her genes.

But: amazing reconstructions. The makeup artist deserves kudos for getting details like noses, double chins, and chin folds right.

Bonus: this page has a (small) picture of the non-made-up Fuchs.
posted by zompist at 4:21 PM on February 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


This guy Fuchs
posted by sixfootaxolotl at 4:22 PM on February 20, 2017


I think that's a different Fuchs than this guy

Wow talk about eponysterical.
posted by saladin at 4:39 PM on February 20, 2017


Seems a bit dismissive to call it a "hobby" - he's a working artist.

Sure, OK. Let's call it an extremely high-risk small business that demands a great deal of personally-provided startup capital, given that nobody is going to give someone a loan to do this. But the fact that he happens to be seeing a return on his investment does not make this celebration of his wealthy, aristocratic family come off as any less frivolous and classist. It obviously represents a not-inconsideralble amount of effort, but does a pursuit's mere difficulty automatically warrant respect?

I know it's not popular around here to hate on people's creative output, but this whole project gives me the heebie-jeebies -- like, isn't there a Poe story about this? Maybe it's just something poor people wouldn't understand.
posted by Krawczak at 5:04 PM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


This guy should do a mashup with the dude who photoshops himself into pictures with Kendall Jenner.
posted by mullacc at 5:04 PM on February 20, 2017


While this art is not my thing really, I'm really jealous of the pictures he has of his ancestry. I think I have one or two pics of my great great grandparents, late in life, and that's it. I wonder how digital will affect this. More pictures will have been taken, but will people be trolling great-great-grandma's Instagram page for a pic to recreate someday?
posted by greermahoney at 5:17 PM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


Harsh, Krawczak. My ancestors were farmers and farm wives, laborers, and assorted avoiders of law enforcement, but I'd do this in a heartbeat if it were bankrolled.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:20 PM on February 20, 2017 [12 favorites]


Krawczak, this seems to be the intersection of cosplay and genealogy interests.

So... If he just studied his genealogy, but did crazy good cosplay of fictional characters, that would be OK?

I get that this isn't something most people could afford to do, but honestly, most of the cosplay I see written up is out of my price range, too. There are cheaper versions of both out there, there. We've all seen photos recreated where they just wear similar stuff and call it a day. Seems the main difference here is he spending a bunch of money on something you wouldn't.
posted by greermahoney at 5:45 PM on February 20, 2017 [3 favorites]


But the fact that he happens to be seeing a return on his investment does not make this celebration of his wealthy, aristocratic family come off as any less frivolous and classist.

Oh for fuck's sake. Would you find it more acceptable if he were to hand out money on the street and take photo-booth pictures of himself wearing sackcloth and ashes?
posted by scratch at 6:18 PM on February 20, 2017 [1 favorite]


You don't approve? I'm sure he gives no Fuchs.

After all the attention to detail in the recreations, I found it jarring that the right shoulder ribbon didn't have the same end shape/finish in the picture of grandma Dona Natividad Martinez de Pinillos Cacho y Lavalle.

But his expressions, whether hauteur or vacuous, were absolutely spot on.

Indeed, philip k dong, I agree that he should have mentioned the costumer and makeup artist--amazing work.
posted by BlueHorse at 6:35 PM on February 20, 2017


Maybe it's just something poor people wouldn't understand.

I'm poor. I understand.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:38 PM on February 20, 2017


K, so, first of all, this is awesome

Second, I am hella jealous in general because hoo boy would I like to do this as my day job

Third, he looks phenomenal in all those gowns

And finally, can we please talk about the ridiculousness that = hairstyles throughout the ages because I tell you what, wow
posted by Hermione Granger at 7:20 PM on February 20, 2017 [2 favorites]


Fuchs's grandmother, Catalina del Carmen Silva Schilling, played a very important part in all of this. Born in Chile of German ancestors, she too was brought up by her grandparents.

Being raised by a grandparent who was raised by a grandparent means he can have discussions about people four to five generations back with as much familarity as though talking about a cousin. The person who raised him can talk to him about someone in the 1700s who knew the person who raised her. So the long history of his family gets compressed and the people in the paintings can become even more real.
posted by eye of newt at 8:42 PM on February 20, 2017 [10 favorites]


You really get to know a secret side of your ancestors when you sit a month in their corsets.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:44 PM on February 20, 2017


Dorothea Viehmann seems to me the only one that doesn't really come off. Perhaps it's harder to fake the wrinkles of a tough old woman.
posted by Segundus at 1:32 AM on February 21, 2017


His ancestors were aristocrats?

To hell with this guy - I'm all out of fuchs to give.
posted by etherist at 7:32 PM on February 21, 2017 [1 favorite]


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