Dozens of Mushroom Characters Populate a Family Tree in Whimsically Painted Photographs by Jana Paleckova

MARCH 3, 2021 GRACE EBERT

All images © Jana Paleckova, shared with permission

An affinity for fleshy spores runs in the long line of ancestors laid out in a family tree by Jana Paleckova. The Prague-based artist layers antique photographs with playful oil paintings of spindly enoki or ribbed chanterelle, creating hybrid characters brimming with fungi-fueled personalities. “There are many types of mushrooms, all of which have different characteristics. Just like people,” she says.

In a note to Colossal, Paleckova says she was prompted to start the whimsical project when she was flipping through her family’s atlas of fungi. “Czech people are known mushroom hunters. It’s quite common for families to go out looking for mushrooms together,” she says. This atlas later served as a reference point for the 90 small portraits, which consist of the dozens of vintage photographs that the artist sourced from flea markets, that comprise the sprouted kin.

Paleckova’s body of work features a variety of surreal combinations, like eggheads, human-spider hybrids, and balloons shaped like children, all of which you can find on her site and Instagram.

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