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Artist Amusingly Adds Strange Details to Old Photos

Artist Colin Batty puts an amusingly strange spin on photographs of the past. Taking cabinet cards from the early 1900s, he uses acrylic paint and crafts entirely new and surprising scenes directly on the image. His additions are often hilarious but also creepy, and he does a fantastic job of seamlessly matching the colors and shading of each vintage photo – without the help of the computer. It's so convincing that at first glance, you might not notice the images were even changed.

Batty enjoys taking a dull photograph from the past and transforming it into something absurd and unusual. No one is safe from his wild embellishments. A young girl with an eyeball for a head and people with snail-like tails are just some of the things you'll find in his works.

In addition to his skill, Batty is also a prolific artist. He painted 100 of these cabinet cards in 2014 for his exhibition called Meet the Family at the Peculiarium in Portland, Oregon. It was later turned into a book of the same name.

Colin Batty on Freaky But True and The Peculiarium
via [Lost At E Minor and Bored Panda]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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