Art

This artist paints animals into vintage photographs and the result is whimsical and creepy

German artist Anja Wülfing is attracting lots of attention on the Internet with her series of eerie yet elegant illustrations.

She takes sepia-tinted and black & white photographs from the turn of the 19th century and paints animals into them, which strikes a surreal and comedic tone.

From her official website: “Anja Wülfing paints over nostalgic photographs and prints depicting people from the turn of the century. Oversized “visitors” are added to the vintage photographs, intermingling with the people or even merging with them, creating naturalistic hybrid beings.

“The composition of past reality and humorous fiction has a strangeness that oddly feels intimate. The intent is to inspire the observer to imagine his own fantastical story in which such scenarios would be possible.”

She replaces the heads of the protagonists with animal heads, giving her work a vibe reminiscent of the series of eighteen paintings Dogs Playing Poker by American artist Cassius Marcellus Coolidge between 1894 and 1910. You know, those incredibly famous renderings of anthropomorphised dogs chilling out around a card table.

Anja studied graphic design and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the ArtCenter College of Design in Switzerland. She has also dabbled in photography, doing an apprenticeship in 1987 with renown artist Udo Klein, but turned to painting in 2015, inspired by the work and encouragement of her father.

“My father was a painter and as he decided to finish his career, he gave me all his oil painting materials saying: ‘Now it‘s your turn!’ This was in 2015 and I changed profession from graphic designer to painter.”

Her work has been exhibited in various galleries in Cologne, most recently at EXPO Female this past March. You can follow her on Instagram or check out her Tumblr to see more of her art.