While some send out family portraits as their holiday cards, photographer Ed Wheeler has been dressing up as Santa Claus for years and posing in hilarious compositions for his cards. It was in 2011, though, when the festive photographer decided to take his work a step further and incorporate jolly ol’ Saint Nick into classical masterpieces like Botticelli’s famed The Birth of Venus painting.
In place of the beautiful, nude goddess of love, Wheeler himself stands in place, dressed up in his red long johns onesie, Christmas hat, and Santa beard. According to the photographer, the intention behind his funny re-imaginings (known as Santa Classics) is to “pay homage to the original paintings while offering art lovers an additional reason to smile.”
Select prints of the whimsical project are available now to purchase through the Philadelphia Museum of Art shop and online store. Santa Classics is also currently being exhibited at bahdeebahdu in Philadelphia through December 21, 2013.