Selfies and emojis are today’s viraliest internet trends but surprisingly the two rarely go hand in hand... until now. Pablo Garcia, an art professor from Chicago, slapped on cardboard anamorphic illusions of emojis onto his selfie stick, to capture self-portraits with a digital emoticon seemingly floating in front of him.  

Why did you create your series titled ‘Memento Mori’?
Throughout history, artists have used distorted images

of skulls, hourglasses and dead flowers to remind us that we are mortal and that our time on earth is fleeting. In the selfie era, this function of humility is perhaps useful again.

Tell us about this process of distorting images.
The ‘Memento Mori’ skull is distorted using a process called anamorphosis. The premise is to make an image skewed on the page so

that when viewed from the correct angle, the image is restored. It uses the same rules as perspective but projected onto an oblique surface. For this project, I used the frontfacing camera on my iPhone as the magic vantage point and used software to distort the image of the skull. After I got it just right, I printed it out and mounted it onto a board to be placed on the selfie stick.

Selfie sticks are getting
a lot of bad press lately. What’s your take on them?
I don’t personally hate selfes or judge others in their interest in taking selfies or using selfie sticks. It makes sense to me as a way to commemorate events and the good times in one’s life. But I can imagine for some the repeated selfie-taking could distort your perspective on life and mortality.