By Rana Khaled
Have you ever noticed that Fouad El-Mohandes and Robin Williams look alike? Or paid attention to the resemblance between Bridgette Bardot and Naglaa Fathy, Ismail Yassin and Charlie Chaplin or Philip Seymour Hoffman and Yehia Al-Fakharany?
A 24-year-old graphic designer, Hagar Nagi, decided to search for international celebrities who look similar to Arabic actors and actresses, and combine them in hybrid photos. Each photo shows the huge resemblance between them, without using Photoshop or any other editing applications.
After her graduation from Alexandria University’s Faculty of Commerce, Nagi started her own handicrafts project titled “Charizma Art” in 2011. Because graphic design was always her deepest passion, she decided not to give up her dream.
Nagi was always interested in finding out the perfect matches between celebrities’ faces, until she came up with an idea to get some photos for those celebrities who look alike, position them on top of each other and use her camera to capture new hybrid photos showing the perfect match between Egyptian and Hollywood stars. To her, the hybrid photos capture the spirits of the two stars, blending the beauty of the West with the charm of the East.
“The whole thing started with a popular hashtag on Instagram called #Replacemyface. The idea inspired me a lot and I wanted to use it my way,” Nagi said. “Implementing the idea was a great challenge for me, especially when I decided not to use any graphic editing applications and depend only on my camera and my room’s lighting system to adjust the photos. The whole trick is about the way I adjust the positions of my laptop and the screen of my mobile phone.”
From her point of view, a look-alike is not necessarily a person who bears a close physical resemblance to another person. However, some people may look alike because they have the same spirit, way of laughing, facial expressions or body language.
“The hybrid photo doesn’t only rely on the similarity of the face’s features and the outer appearance but also on the personality similarities. I have to admit that I was really surprised to find out that huge likeness between Marlin Monroe and Hend Rostom, Audrey and Sherihan, Will Smith and Ahmed Zaki,” she noted.
Because her ambition has no limits, as she described, Nagi decided to collect the project’s photos in a book.
“For my entire life, I used to collect my photos in books for memory but I didn’t think of publishing this book until now,” she added.
Nagi is currently working on a crazy project called “Popminime”, in which she creates a miniature of everything she loves such as her small library, the covers of her favourite books, the old games she used to play when she was younger and many others. “The main goal of this project is saving our old memories and recreating them in an innovative way,” she added.