irina werning: back to the future
irina werning: back to the future
feb 16, 2011

irina werning: back to the future

‘back to the future’ series by irina werning (above) ‘cecile in 1987 & 2010’, france image © irina werning

compelled by the qualities and narrative-charged nature of vintage images, buenos aires-based photographer irina werning has started a series of portraits fittingly titled, ‘back to the future’. largely consisting of diptychs, the project has subjects re-enact a childhood photograph from their past in their current image today. the result is a surreal, time-traveling carbon copy that manages to capture a sense of the subject’s biography.

alarmingly detailed in props, image quality, colour balance and expressions, the haunting portraits are at once nostalgic and charming, illustrating that – even with the inevitable effects of time – we are who we are; people change, but they don’t change.

to see more from the series, click through to werning’s website here.

irina werning: back to the future ‘pancho in 1983 & 2010’, buenos aires image © irina werning

irina werning: back to the future ‘ian in 1984 & 2010’, london image © irina werning

irina werning: back to the future ‘la negra 1980 & 2010’, buenos aires image © irina werning

irina werning: back to the future ‘lucia in 1956 & 2010’, buenos aires image © irina werning

irina werning: back to the future ‘mechi in 1990 & 2010’, buenos aires image © irina werning

irina werning: back to the future ‘lali in 1978 & 2010’, buenos aires image © irina werning

irina werning: back to the future ‘nico in 1986 & 2010’, buenos aires image © irina werning

irina werning: back to the future ‘my parents in 1970 & 2010’, buenos aires image © irina werning

  • Beautiful & moving!

    M says:
  • I want to do this!!

    ksenia r says:
  • lovely ! ! !

    yuki says:
  • muy bueno!!

    brodba says:
  • this is beautiful but stolen, saw it at an exhibition in Berlin a couple of years ago!

    Nathalie says:
  • I don’t care, its very nice!

    Kees says:
  • wonderful

    Dr. Design says:
  • Haunting indeed!

    keenan says:
  • ke chiiiiido!!!!!

    tanyyys says:
  • I love it, it makes you nostalgic about years passed.

    Starbuck85 says:
  • very touching it does get the point across!

    Vanine says:
  • soooo nice

    lapalma says:
  • @Nathalie

    its not necessary stolen. two people can have a similar or same idea, if you prefer. That is proven daily. Many people choose to do exact same activities at the same time without knowing of each others existence.

    Irina Werning didnt necessarily stole the idea. It might have come to her aswell.

    Of course, this doesnt mean that people never steal ideas, but you still must know, that one of the first things art professor tell their students is that their first idea is the idea everyone will get, so dig deeper.

    zae gr says:
  • Indeed I don’t think this is stolen either… I also saw a similar idea applied to the idea of the dissapearance. The photographer took again pictures of people dissapeared during the 70 in Argentina trying to get as close as possible to the original picture, but without the missing person.

    Ripinipi says:
  • how do they get almost exactly the same clothes in a way bigger size 20 years later? it’s unnatural!

    zoinks says:
  • Yoshinari Nishio,Japanese Artist.
    He has similar projects.

    R2 says:
  • amazing!

    :) says:
  • Fantastic!! The most interesting & well executed concept I’ve seen in ages…..

    Rusty says:
  • If you like these, check out Bobby Neel Adams work, ttp://

    Miel says:
  • I also thought everything was stolen when I saw it twice, but when I start seeing my ideas on the web, when I saw that my idea from 5 minutes ago is already produced, than I realized that human creativity works very similar sometimes..this is perfectly normal 🙂
    i like these photos, they are warm and beautiful 🙂

    muchacha says:
  • great idea !

    geza jans says:
  • Here is a Brazillian artista that does the same thing, Carla Borba. Ideas are in the air.

    Pedro says:
  • most beautiful.

    osmosis8 says:
  • [url=] I LOVE THIS PAGE[/url]

    NATALIA says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
503,285 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine