Storm troopers mow the lawn, Jesus rides a Segway, Ceiling Cat lurks in the sky and the Stay-Puft marshmallow man gazes out over a nonchalant 19th century crowd in dusty, unwanted thrift store paintings altered by David Irvine. The Toronto-based artist inserts characters from contemporary pop culture into unexpected settings, like bucolic rural pastures and traditional religious imagery.
Irvine picks through yard sales, secondhand stores and sidewalk piles destined for the landfill to find rejected paintings to alter, rescuing them from obscurity and placing them in the hands of collectors all over the world. According to his website, “David will never paint over the existing signature and depending on the project will adapt the traits of the original (coloring, lighting, brushstrokes etc.) or will go in a complete opposite direction and achieve a high contrast in imagery.”
Characters from Star Wars and comic books are some of Irvine’s favorite subjects, with Darth Vader enjoying a relaxing afternoon fishing on the lake and Jabba the Hut getting his portrait painted. In a painting entitled ‘Not the Gardener,’ Leatherface raises his bloody chainsaw in a rose garden. An otherwise unremarkable painting of a dirt road becomes the backdrop for a 1970s car chase.
The pieces have become so popular, he can’t keep them stocked in his Etsy shop, but if you want your very own romantic beach scene of Batman and Wonder Woman or Spock appearing to an angel on an oversized donut, you can keep tabs on Irvine’s work at his Facebook page. Prints are also available at Society6.