Have you ever wanted to duplicate yourself in pictures you've taken of yourself? With the advent of digital photography, it's become relatively easy to Photoshop yourself into the same image as many times as you like with the clone stamp or the simple cut-and-paste tools. The only question is, "How many duplicates is enough in one image?" Artist and photographer Martin Liebscher probably hasn't asked that question as he has perfected the art of duplicating himself in the thousands in his imposing collection of self-portraits entitled “Familien Bilder”.
Martin Liebscher started his self-portrait series in 1991 and over the years the number of doppelgangers in his images has grown from around a dozen, to over fifty, to the thousands in his more impressive works. He calls his images Familien Bilder or Family Pictures as he employs other Liebschers (actually duplicates of himself) to fill up the canvas that is his photograph, erasing any other passers-by caught in the frame.
Liebscher mentions that his self-portraits are made in order to question one's identity both individually and in a group. In his photographs, he is the only person playing every role, yet his individuality disappears amid the hundreds of otherselves in the frame.
That or he's just looking for an excuse to clone himself into every image he's taken.
Creating each of his panoramic images can take anywhere from two days to six months, depending on the scale and location. The photographer also has to act the part of the subject, busily fiddling a violin or moving construction material when the scene calls for it. In some images, his facial expression has to be just right in order to convey the illusion of actually being and living in the space.
Going through his collection, you get the feeling that Liebscher has over the years set his goal of multiplying his doubles towards bigger and bigger dimensions, and greater and greater stages. Either that or he's gone completely out of control with his duplications. You decide.
Interested in creating your own self-portraits of me, myself and I? Go over to Martin Liebscher's website over here. His Familien Bilder or Family Pictures is over here. His photographs have been published in the books Martin Liebscher: Imprint, Martin Liebscher: A Man With Opportunities and XL-Photography: Art Collection Neue Borse.