Photoshop experts are able to rework images into all kinds of fabricated realities. From color correction and filters to cropping and resizing, the powerful digital tool offers countless editing options. And while most Photoshop experts use the software for professional graphic design, British digital artist James Fridman uses it to troll the Internet. He’s known for taking requests to “fix” the images of people from all over the world. However, rather than take their directions seriously, the witty artist interprets their commission literally, resulting in hilarious and surreal images.
Fridman has been making funny photo edits for several years, but people online can’t seem to get enough of his creations. Everyone who submits their photo to Fridman knows they will get something funny in return, but the Photoshop expert always manages to deliver the unexpected. In one recent photo, he was asked to edit out a woman’s friend who “photobombed” her portrait. Instead of simply removing the man from the picture, Fridman opted to blend his face into a rock and add a cheeky reply: “What friend?” In another, a girl asked the artist to turn her boyfriend into a boxer, but rather than give him bigger muscles and boxing gloves, he turned him into a boxer dog.
Each Photoshop creation is sure to make you giggle, but Fridman stresses that he doesn’t want to change a person’s appearance in favor of society’s beauty standards. For one request, a girl with Muscular Dystrophy asked Fridman to “straighten [her] arms” to make her look “normal.” However, Fridman returned the image unchanged and wrote, “Acceptance of your true self can be a constant battle. The term ‘normal’ is a propaganda technique used by the modern society to make us conform to a pre-existing standard.” The artist adds, “If people can't look past your physical condition, they are most likely not worth your attention. A pretty young girl with a genuine smile and beautiful hair is all I see in this picture.”
When he’s not Photoshopping, Fridman runs his own foundation that helps support children and young people affected by social issues. He uses humor and art to help kids develop confidence, resilience, and self-esteem.