«In the beginning of 2007 I started taking photos of them: couples who dress alike.
I don’t mean people that work in uniform, or teams or twins for that matter. They don’t count. Besides that, wearing the same piece of clothing on their upper body is my minimum requirement. I take their photos while they unknowingly walk down the streets or while posing. In almost every case I ask them why they wear the same jacket, sweater, T-shirt, bodywarmer, tracksuit or cardigan. I believe this is important and it makes this form of street photography more informative than simply documenting people in public spaces. The couples in my photos come from all over the world, dressing alike is a global phenomenon.
All of a sudden it caught my eye! Men and women wearing the exact same jacket. First I took their photos for fun, then I created a working folder on my computer and started studying them. This went on for a while, but at a certain point it became more serious and I started to look out for them. Nowadays I can’t go outside without checking every jacket that I come across.
Why do couples wear the exact same jacket? That is the question that has kept me occupied for the past few years. “Two jackets cost less!” “My spouse bought it for me!” But when I continued asking them questions, I got a little deeper. They often would rather not go into it too much or they have an emotional response such as: “But we have been married for over forty years!»
Behind their disguises I see two people that have created a pact together, against the rest of the world. In this way they show us that they belong together. And that’s beautiful.
The streets, where I meet most couples, is not the perfect place for confessions. Sometimes they don’t mind having their photos taken, but rather not talk about it. Others do talk, but don’t give their name or address. In such cases I hand them my business card in the hope they’ll reach out to me. About forty couples gave me more than a routine or cliche answer. They help to get to the essence of this photo project: to make sense of a specific type of behavior and to do away with all kinds of prejudice.»
The book ‘Gelijkgekleed’ by George Maas is available in our gift shop. Disguised as two caravans behind reception.