Denver based artist Suzanne Heintz wondered the same, and explored that weird notion in a fantastical series of photographs called Life Once Removed. Traveling through the world with her plastic hubby and crafted child Suzanne take the perfect family portraits without being involved in a flesh and blood marriage.
With first glance the photos are somewhat disturbing, until you realize that some of the participants are real while other are man-made. On her artist statement Suzanne explains:
What would drive you to pack a family of mannequins into your station wagon, and take them on a road trip? Enough pressure to conform will send anyone packing. Conform to what? Well, it was getting late. Seriously late for a woman my age not to have a ring on her finger. People said, “You’re such a nice girl, why aren’t you married?” No one actually used that out of date word, but, what they were driving at was that I was a “Spinster,” and I got tired of hearing about it.
Even my Mother must have thought she was setting me straight when she said, “Suzy, there’s nobody perfect out there. You just need to PICK somebody, if you’re going to settle down.”
I snapped back, “Mom! It’s not like I can go out and BUY a family! I can’t just MAKE it happen!” But then, I found a way. I bought a beautiful Family… of Mannequins. I decided to start a photo project out of the Kodak Moments I’d capture with my new Store-Bought Family.