Cringeworthy (But Gorgeous) Images of Vintage Photos Sunburnt Onto Subjects’ Skin

In his new book Illustrated People, French artist Thomas Mailaender decorates his models’ bodies not with ink or paint, but UV rays. Mailaender recreated 23 images from the Archive of Modern Conflict, a London-based store of artifacts from 19th- and 20th-century wars, by strategically “sunburning” the subjects, temporarily — and painfully — imprinting the photographs on their skin. Mailaender’s series thus serves as a testament to the simultaneously searing and fleeting nature of difficult memories; the UV burns hurt, but they’ll also disappear over time. Click through to see more of Mailaender’s work, which we discovered via DesignTAXI.