Victorian Photos Re-imagined As Superheroes

Alex Gross, a talented Los Angeles artist with a very diverse skill range, has re-purposed a series of Victorian-era Cabinet card portraits to depict science fiction heroes. 

Cabinet cards, first adopted in 1870, were once the universal standard for portrait photographs. Although they obviously passed out of fashion quite some time ago, artist Alex Gross has found a way to make them contemporary again.

Gross, a very talented Los Angeles-based artist who works with several media, has taken several of these old Cabinet cards and painted over them to turn them into portraits of science fiction superheroes, movie villains, and other pop culture icons. This re-contextualization of classic imagery with modern references is very fitting in today’s consumer culture, as the film industry continuously produces modern remakes of classic films.

His Cabinet card portraits include Batman (pictured below), Spock, and Godzilla, just to name a few.


His Wonder Woman and Wolverine cards (both shown below) are also particularly noteworthy.


The entire series can be viewed online on Gross’ portfolio.

While these Cabinet cards certainly are a popular and unique collection, they’re not the only medium Gross works with. This creative artist has a diverse range of skills, including etchings and more traditional paintings. The physical nature of his work is quite refreshing an era where digital art typically reigns supreme.

However, not everyone seems to agree with this assessment. In fact, it’s interesting to note that Gross’ work has actually been largely criticized for “destroying” these old photographs.

According to io9, Gross will be featured in an exhibition at the Jonathan Levine gallery next month in New York, where he will display his other works of art, and will also be unveiling several new pieces in his scifi Cabinet cards series.

Many of his works are also available as prints via his online gallery.