One of my favorite cultural trends to emerge online over the last decade is the practice of altering celebrity photos to make them appear morbidly obese or the victims of severe amputation procedures. Ostensibly, these works were created for fringe sexual reasons, but I see something more.
In these photos, I see a plausible alternative reality, total and complete in its construction. The thought put into where to place the neck fat – off to the side or partially engulfing the lower lip, for example – is considerable. These artists take seriously the decision to cut off Jennifer Aniston’s arm ABOVE the elbow and perhaps replace it with a hook or equivalent animal paw. They even consider the emotional journey of their subjects by making an 1100lbs Tom Hanks grimace at his newly applied stump stitches while in a follow up photo a carefree Mr. Hanks is seen gorging on a platter of Georgia sweet ribs, wholly unconcerned with the slowly healing scar where his ankle once was.
This attitude that refuses to accept what is in favor of what could be, and it’s corollary in ever increasing incarceration statistics, is what keeps me excited about this medium and this country.
Enjoy your day.