Anachronistic Adjustments to Thrift Store Paintings

By Norman Chan

Two artists add a twist of the macabre and paranormal to old paintings found at second hand stores.

Artists Chris McMahon and Thryza Segal have each independently brought something wonderful to oft-ignored paintings found at thrift stores. Using acrylic or oil paints that match the texture and look of the original painting, they've injected the scenes with some paranormal activity. McMahon's works add wide-eyed (and perhaps misunderstood) monsters to scenic landscapes, including a monstrous "Throat Shark" bracing its arm on what looks like an 1800s european villa. I like the addition McMahon's signature below the original artists'--it makes the pieces look like collaborative efforts, which they technically are.

Thryza Segal's oil paintings are a little more involved, with the artist patching up damage to thrift store acquisitions with original creatures and even replacing existing animals, as in the image below. Even more impressive is the fact that the original painting are actually tiny--only about 3"x4". Segal explains the story behind this series in a comment left on his Google+ page:

The series explores the notion of extra terrestrials coming to Earth for their holidays and what activities they might get up to. Humans sometimes go to dude ranches for a vacation- why can't an alien come to the same dude ranch to rope cowboys rather than calves?
Image Credit: Thryza Segal

The anachronistic theme of Segal and McMahon's works reminded me of a recent discovery: the Flux Machine Tumblr blog. Its creator, 23-year-old student Kevin Weir, PhotoShops animated peculiarities into royalty-free vintage photos found on the Library of Congress's Flickr archive. The results are delightfully disturbing.