Stock photos may just be one of the great art forms of our age. Models styled to look like everyday people are stuck in bizarre, exaggerated poses to create an uncanny result that captures something distinctly troubling about modern humanity. Contorted to fit the demands of a bland corporate style—primary colored wardrobes and clean cut faces—while also fitting the needs of any conceivable situation where a specific image is required, the stock photo captures our species as consumer product.
Reed has done a fantastic job of mining this genre for some of its most puzzling treasures. There is, for instance, an entire category of otherworldly chocolate eating—including an image featuring a model who looks like a wild-eyed young Peter Gallagher—that contains its very own sub genre of “women holding chocolate and dissociating.”
Beyond the realms of chocolate monsters, battery eaters, and pizza executions, there is also a wide world of extraordinary banana poses.
Here is a child wearing a bunch of them on her head like a fun wig:
And here is ... a caveman?
Each one of these is its own unique enigma—captivating scenes that capture the eye and the brain both. They force us to wonder how the photographer directed these bizarre scenes, the thoughts that must have occupied the mind of a man giving the thumbs up and holding a slice of pizza with a fake gun pressed to his head, and, perhaps most importantly of all, what kind of market we’ve created that demands these photos must exist.
If there’s any solace to take in these images, it’s only this: none of them include cigarette-smoking babies.
Send Great Job, Internet tips to email@example.com