While the internet has been helping more and more people and animals get their fifteen minutes of fame, there will undoubtedly come a time when the memes we are so fond of today will be just a nostalgic memory. Artist Lauren Kaelin takes memes out of the digital world and into the material world via paintbrush on canvas, preserving their power. From human internet sensations like Psy, Antoine Dodson, and Ermagherd girl to our favorite animals Boo the dog, Sneezing Panda, IKEA monkey, and Grumpy Cat, Kaelin has created quite a collection on her Tumblr Benjameme. Named after art theorist, Walter Benjamin who believed that reproductions of art degrade the aura and value of the original and since memes by definition are “reproducible, shareable, and recognizable,” Kaelin gives these familiar faces an aura by turning them into original art.[see_also]
A self-classified hoarder, Kaelin has yet to sell one of her originals, though offers have been made, but prints are available in her online shop. So why not immortalize one of your favorite internet stars by hanging a print on your wall and passing it down for generations to come? Check out more Benjamemes here and submit a suggestion for Kaelin’s next painting.