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Mise-en-Abyme Madness! In New Trend, Reddit Users Are Going Down a Painting Wormhole

Reddit user lillyofthenight holding one very multi-layered painting. LILLYOFTHENIGHT

When the 55-year-old Jacksonville, Florida resident Cindi Decker painted an egret as part of an art class she was taking, there was no way for her to have any idea of the kind of chain of events she would come to unleash.

The BBC reported yesterday that Decker showed the painting to her son, who took a photo of his mother holding the work, which he then posted on the website Reddit. It became very popular. The photo currently has around 75,000 upvotes—Reddit’s equivalent of likes.

Enter the 45-year-old Swedish artist Kristoffer Zetterstrand, who painted a rendition of Decker’s son’s photo and then took a photo of himself holding the painting. “I thought it was cute, and had the idea that I would paint one of those photos just for fun,” Zetterstrand told the BBC. That photo also got very popular, receiving 120,000 upvotes in five days.

It doesn’t stop there. Reddit user lillyofthenight, a fan of Zetterstrand’s photo, cooked up a piece of her own—a painting of the photo of Zetterstrand holding his painting of Decker’s son’s photo. From there, things naturally spiraled, with various renditions of renditions of renditions branching out to the point where Reddit users, including zcuhdee and Nubleh, have made a chart chronicling the madness. “Eventually, there will be one painting to rule them all,” the BBC reports the Reddit user inthesandtrap writing.

As for Decker, who unknowingly started this all, she had the following to say: “I am just a very ordinary mom who has had an extraordinary few days,” she told the BBC.

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