Photo Essays

Darkly Absurd GIFs of Famous Paintings

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Kajetan Obarski, Goya’s “Saturn Devouring His Son,” updated with pigeons (all GIFs by and courtesy of Kajetan Obarski AKA Kiszkiloszki)

Goya’s Saturn devours his son on a park bench, flinging chunks of arm to a flock of pigeons; the lady in pink of Edward Hopper’s “Morning Sun” snaps out of her reverie when a bird crashes into her bedroom window; the raining men of Rene Magritte’s “Golconda” jump out of a plane and splatter bloodily on the ground, alarming local newscasters. These are some of the weird, gory scenes in an ongoing series of animated GIFs based on famous paintings by Amsterdam-based artist Kajetan Obarski, who goes by Kiszkiloszki. “No matter what I animate, there’s always a little bit of my venom in it,” Obarski says. “I’m a nice guy but at the same time I’m a malicious grumpy gnome.”

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Kajetan Obarski’s update of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady With An Ermine”

Driven by an “aversion to the canons of beauty and popular art icons,” this “grumpy gnome” (not quite a troll) skewers art world self-seriousness with dumb cyberculture tropes. Queen Elizabeth I gets caught sexting, Leonardo da Vinci uses Photoshop to change his Lady’s ermine into a giraffe, and van Gogh is gifted a fancy pair of headphones to cover up his bandaged ear. See some highlights below or check out the full series of GIFs on Obarski’s Tumblr.

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Kiszkiloszki’s animated update of Rene Magritte’s “Golconda”
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Kiszkiloszki’s animated update of Rene Magritte’s “Golconda”
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Kiszkiloszki’s animated update of Edward Hopper’s “Morning Sun”
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Kiszkiloszki’s animated update of Vincent Van Gogh, Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear”
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GIF by Kiszkiloszki
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