We've seen some scary family portraits in our day. Matching turquoise turtlenecks. Cheesy backgrounds. Sassy hands-on-hip poses. Mom's circa '80s perm. Dad's circa'80s perm. Shudder.
In terms of sheer insanity, however, nobody can touch the Danish royal family. Artist Thomas Kluge spent four years creating a portrait depicting three generations of family members, and the results are both bizarre and nightmare inducing. Though Kluge is famed for his "magic realism" technique, his dark, lurking shadows, cold facial expressions, and varying perspectives seem better suited to a horror film than a family album.
"The present and future monarchs, H.M. The Queen, T.R.H. The Crown Prince, and Prince Christian, all make eye contact with us, while their family members are portrayed in their own universe, unprovoked by the gaze of the spectator," says a brief from the The Danish Royal Collections. "The children are at play with the exception of the upright and severe Prince Christian who seems aware of his future responsibilities."
"Severe" is one word for it. Other words might be "ominous," "threatening," or "Damian's got nothing on me." But seriously, we're sure he's a lovely kid.
We're not sure who we pity most: the elderly royal couple, who will have to live with this ghastly homage, or the people on their Christmas card list. (Go Fug Yourself)