Who among us has not seen at least a vague resemblance in our appearance with our parents? To some, the similarity is obvious. For others it can be a bit difficult to spot the likeness, perhaps because of weight, age or gender. It also happens often that others see the resemblance we have with either a father or mother, but we fail to see it. It is also worth noting that seeing your own face mirrored back at you through your child is not only easier but also delightful, while it can be tricky to see through the years of extra pounds and wrinkles to recognize ourselves in an elderly family member or relative.
There are obvious likenesses that he captures, and there are those that are a bit more subtle. Gibson has had works exhibited in Glasgow and Brussels, and describes Boys and Their Fathers, in his own words,
“The project compares the facial characteristics between Father and Son. These portraits were a demonstration of the physical similarities between one genetic relationship. It explores the subjects’ physical attributes, expressions, postures and moods. This project looks at a constant reminder of change, through time and in both growth and circumstance, forcing the viewer to make comparisons.”
For every family, Gibson took images of both father and son, careful to keep an identical angle and perspective. The pictures are arranged as a triptych, with solo photos of both the dad and son seen alongside a combined image overlaying both their faces. What one quickly notices is how powerfully fathers and sons resemble each other.
The main difference we see etched in a father’s appearance is a weathered man’s face, tempered and seasoned by the realities of life, while a son’s look shows the youthful innocence, hope and vitality of a young man. It is a surprisingly poignant and compelling project that tempts one to do a similar comparison with his family.
For more photographs from this noteworthy series, visit Gibson’s website.