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Finding van Gogh: Douglas Coupland locates lookalike to be featured in art piece

Last Updated Nov 16, 2016 at 11:00 am MST

Daniel Baker of the southern English town of Christchurch is shown in this undated handout image. The British man bearing a striking resemblance to Vincent van Gogh will be the star of new work of art by Canadian Douglas Coupland. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

VANCOUVER – A British man bearing a striking resemblance to Vincent van Gogh is the muse for a new work of art by Douglas Coupland.

The Vancouver-based writer and artist embarked on a worldwide search for individuals resembling the famed Dutch painter.

Daniel Baker of the southern England town of Christchurch emerged as the top doppelganger out of 1,250 entrants from 37 countries.

Baker travelled to Vancouver where he underwent a 3D scanning process using hundreds of cameras to generate facial data that Coupland will use as source material to create a large 3D bronze sculpture.

The completed piece will be revealed on April 22, 2017 at a special pre-conference event for attendees of the TED Conference in Vancouver.

The piece was commissioned by Anthony von Mandl, who will install the sculpture at his winery in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley.

It will be the first in an ongoing series of commissioned monumental outdoor works titled “Redheads.”

“Meeting Dan was a very strange experience because I’d spent months looking at Vincent lookalikes on a computer screen and then suddenly there was this man — my Vincent van Gogh — hopping out of a taxi looking like he’d just stepped out of the year 1889,” said Coupland.