The idea is simple: find a famous and inspirational work of art and superimpose Santa Claus into the piece. That's the recipe for artist and photographer Ed Wheeler's series "Santa Classics." Behold:
The results are funny, beautiful and, sometimes, dramatic. The addictive project was born three years ago when the Philadelphia-based artist was struck by a painting that depicted a place not far from his hometown.
"I was at The Met museum standing in front of the 'Washington Crossing [the Delaware]' by Emanuel Leutze and thought, 'Wouldn’t it be amazing if Santa Claus took the place of George Washington?'" Wheeler explained to the Huffington Post. "Then I went to the studio, shot myself in the same position dressed as Santa Claus and superimposed him into the boat."
Since that fateful day, Wheeler-as-Santa has graced iconic canvases from Degas, Monet, Vermeer and more. With over 35 years of photography experience under his belt and dozens of Santa Classics in print, Wheeler's work has landed him a spot at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The museum is selling his Santa-themed imagery as cards, an opportunity that left the artist a bit dumbstruck.
"I thought, wait a second... Wow, you're a museum," he said with a laugh. "In the last two weeks, we've gotten emails from all over the world. It's so exciting!"
See more of Wheeler's Santa infused masterpieces and let us know your thoughts in the comments.