French artist and photographer Olivier Ciappa has put together the Imaginary Couples series to tackle homophobia around the world and spread the message “nothing but love.” Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria has participated to the project supporting same-sex love. She posed alongside Lara Fabian as a same-sex couple .
Other straight actors, artists and athletes, including Sicario director Denis Villeneuve and Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallée posed as gay couples for Ciappa’s project. The series has been displayed all over the world from Europe to South America.
The artist was inspired to create this series of straight celebrities posing as gay couples by the existing homophobia around the world, hoping that people will receive the main message – that is, “nothing but love” – and change their perspective on gay love.
“Homophobia is the first symptom of a widespread ignorance of homosexuality, a distorted vision, sometimes fantasy,” Ciappa explained. “So I wanted the viewer to confront the gentleness, the simplicity of these images in order to change their look, sweep their representations, and keep only the essentials: love, nothing but love.”
The exhibition’s main purpose is to tell people that love is love and besides celebrities, the French artist also included real couples of various genders, religions, sexual orientations, and races.
“The celebrities that I shot are heterosexual, but it was essential to me that you would believe these imaginary couples and families they portray were real. If you couldn’t identify with their love and feel it was real, then I would have failed.
“And to show that love is love, no matter who [is involved], the exhibition also features real gay families, straight ones, single parents, disabled, people of different skin colors and origins, different religion, young couples, old ones.”
The Imaginary Couples series is scheduled for US too,debuting in Los Angeles later this year.