Swedish artist Sanna Dullaway dropped some of her latest work on the Internet recently and responses have been all over the map. Dullaway’s recolorization process sees her take iconic black and white photos [Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Anne Frank] and sprinkle rainbow dust all over them. [The actual process is a little more complex than that. For a taste, check out this YouTube video demonstrating the recolorization of the classic ‘The American Way’ photo. And then take a closer look at Dullaway’s work in the gallery above]
There’s no shortage of opinions on the transformations. I’ve heard everything from “brilliant” to “blasphemy.” The latter seems a bit harsh. At worst these can be regarded as a vain attempt to improve upon classics, sort of like remaking Total Recall. Are the colorized versions are “superior” to the originals? That’s always come down to personal taste. And where that’s concerned, well, who doesn’t find their breath short when the orange flames and robes explode from the screen in the Burning Monk shot? And that cool blue of the car, invoking the water we all so desperately want to douse on the man? That’s a worthy artistic exploration in my book.