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French Artist Ditches SPF For Cringe-Worthy Sunbur...

French Artist Ditches SPF For Cringe-Worthy Sunburn Photos

This is not the kind of dodging and burning you learned in the dark room. This is just straight-up burning. Thomas Mailaender, a French artist, has been searing photographs onto the skin of his willing human subjects for the sake of art.

Illustrated People, Thomas Mailaender, French Artist

Mailaender, a multidisciplinary artist pressed 23 archival negatives to his models’ skin and then exposed them to a strong UV lamp that burnt the images into their flesh. The effect of the UV lamp is not quite the same as a sunburn, and the images disappeared quickly once exposed to sunlight. Mailaender captured these fleeting impressions with his camera and compiled them in his latest book, “Illustrated People.”

The images are pretty wince-worthy, but the skin damage is not permanent and the technique is innovative enough to keep you turning the pages. Maybe for your next beach trip, ditch those silly tanning stickers and bring some negatives with you. Just remember not to reapply.

Illustrated People, Thomas Mainlaender, French Artist

Illustrated People, Thomas Mailaender, French Artist

Illustrated People, Thomas Mailaender, French Artist

Illustrated People, Thomas Mailaender, French Artist


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Jordan Frand is the marketing director for Slideluck, a Brooklyn-based arts non-profit. He loves words, art, food, and yoga and his favorite medium for self-expression is ice cream.

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