Since the second half of January a strange white phenomenon has been all over Reddit and gathering quite a bit of notoriety. No, We don’t mean the polar freeze that has gripped multiple US cities, we’re talking about an amateur painting trend inspired by this painting of a swan!
This adorable photo was the catalyst for a chain of recursive paintings made by a crowd of random redditors looking to cash in some fun, easy karma.
— Nick Kapur (@nick_kapur) January 30, 2019
The paintings start out simple and wholesome:
And continue to get more impressive (and insane)
Reaching ever deeper at six layers of paintings
One enterprising twitter account couldn’t resist the urge to get meta:
Here’s Donald Trump holding the guy who painted the girl who painted the guy who painted the other guy’s mom who painted the egret. (He’s holding it the wrong way, of course.) #LiteratureAsSpectacle pic.twitter.com/gdqNcQPmG8
— Cow Eye Press (@coweyepress) January 31, 2019
And one artist even tried to close the loop! (unsuccessfully)
In a way, this fad represents the best parts of online communities like these: creativity married to a fun community project and a nice way to reflect our fellow man. On the other hand, it’s easy to dismiss as a dumb fad for amateur artists to reap some Reddit popularity points. But if art meant to entertain, why not try and use it to bring a community together?
This trend caught on so hard that someone made a web app to track and organize all the branching painting paths.
Whether or not you care about random artist trends online, this sort of wholesome community oriented creativity is a reminder that sometimes we can do something other than scream into the internet abyss. Definitely a welcome palate cleanser in this troubling time of absolute dummies populating the web. It’s certainly a hell of a lot safer and more interesting than daring each other to run around in a blindfold and get hit by other people/walls/cars, so why not pick up a brush and paint some random stranger for fun?