Modified Cabinet Cards, Involuntary Collaborations and Fat Cats in Art
January 25, 2012 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Alex Gross converts antique cabinet card portraits into pop caricatures (larger collection). Chris McMahon creates involuntary collaborations with bland landscape paintings he picks up at yard sales, similar to John Lytle Wilson's Corrected Paintings. And then you have fat cats in art, or Great Artist's Mews.
posted by filthy light thief (10 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I find it kind of disturbing that the first guy destroys the cabinet cards to make his artwork, though I'm not so much bothered by the destruction of the yard sale artwork.
posted by crunchland at 4:18 PM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]

I was wondering about that myself. While not as common as photographs from later eras, but I don't think they're rarities ("Most of us have one of these cabinet cards in our collection of old ancestral photos," so says Kimberly Powell, Genealogy Guide). I doubt that the artist would pay a significant sum of money for antiques, just to modify them in this way (but I could be wrong).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:29 PM on January 25, 2012

Alex Gross converts antique cabinet card portraits into pop caricatures

Hey, you know those are historical evidence, right?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:50 PM on January 25, 2012

I was kind of hoping that he did not paint on the real card. It is kind of like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa - at least use a reproduction.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:08 PM on January 25, 2012

I don't think they're rarities --- Well, I know that they aren't that valuable, but they are unique, historical records. I felt the same way back when that guy who carved up the old 78's went viral.
posted by crunchland at 6:34 PM on January 25, 2012

Yeah, there's no need to destroy old photographs. They have historic value even if you find them in a junk shop for a buck apiece.
posted by usonian at 7:00 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am so glad to see that I am not the only one who is jarred by this artist's use of old photos as supports to paint on. I guess I was taught that any photo of anything from another age is sacred. I would never be able to do this, even if there were no relatives.
posted by naplesyellow at 7:57 PM on January 25, 2012

The involuntarily paintings though...hysterical. also, robots.
posted by dejah420 at 10:10 PM on January 25, 2012

I have the same feeling as crunchland. I like the results, but I really wish he'd not do his work directly on the originals.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:54 AM on January 26, 2012

Well, we do live in the age of recycling, I guess. Back in the middle ages, because it was valuable, monks would clean and scrape used vellum to make new manuscripts, and we'll never know what kind of judgement they used to choose what was worth keeping, and what could be erased. Nowadays, all our originals are digital, and duplicating them is trivial, without destroying the originals. (And I was wrong ... cabinet cards are made from glass negative plates. They're prints so they're not unique, one-offs, though presumably the glass negatives weren't kept for long, but washed and recycled.)
posted by crunchland at 6:41 AM on January 26, 2012

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