Brian Howell

1 item(s)

Two Micks, 2007
Edition 1/6
Inkjet print on archival paper
23.5 x 23.5”

1 item(s)

King’s Shadow, 2004
Edition 1/6
Inkjet print on archival paper
23.5 x 23.5”

1 item(s)

Joe as De Niro, 2004
Edition 1/6
Inkjet print on archival paper
23.5 x 23.5”

Brian Howell’s first glimpse into the impersonating world came at the end of a lively Sunday gospel meeting in southern British Columbia led by an Elvis impersonator who told him that his Elvis costume had given new meaning to his life. Howell had been documenting a small-time pro-wrestling circuit in the Pacific Northwest, an undertaking that led him to develop a formal almost old – fashioned style of photograph that lends itself well to the display of extravagant performance and bizarre spectacle. Looking at an impersonator, one doesn’t see the two identities at the same time; instead, your perception flickers between them, and this ambiguity challenges our notion of authenticity, and of celebrity. The impersonating world is a hall of mirrors through which Brian Howell has sought out myriad reflections of celebrity at every level, from the neighbourhood gospel show, to community centers catered by Lions Clubs, and finally to the heart of it along the Las Vegas Strip, to which Howell returns again and again as he pursues these refracted images which stand as allusions to unattainable celebrity.