This article originally appeared on VICE US.
This portfolio appears in VICE Magazine's 2019 Photo Issue. With this issue we wanted to celebrate the absurd, the lighthearted, and the humorous. It’s important to take a break from the real world. As much as we need to be informed, engaged, and aware, we also need to laugh. We wanted to champion the people making art with a sense of humor. In today’s climate, there’s something nicely subversive about that. You can read more about our theme in the letter from our editor.
Thomas Mailaender is a French multimedia artist living and working in Paris. We first fell in love with his work back in 2011 when he released Extreme Tourism, a series of images in which Mailaender—donning a Hawaiian shirt and shorts—is superimposed against extreme backdrops of erupting volcanoes. In one image he’s surfing over a hot lava lake, in another he’s using the lava to heat up a pizza.
We featured his work in our 2012 Photo Issue and we were thrilled when he agreed to share some unseen work from his archive for this year’s issue. “Guinness Book” is a series of nine photos depicting Mailaender’s relatives proudly holding oversized items. We loved the found family photo quality of the images and how ridiculous everyday household items become once you view them at an extremely exaggerated scale.