This Viral Reddit Recursion Fad Will Make Your Week

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!

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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.


Twitter: @nick_kapur

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:

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?