Artist’s popular Instagram series makes him feel like a kid again: ‘I’m always surprised’

Instagram’s Sunset Selfies reveals the magic of cardboard art. 

John Marshall’s unique selfies feature cardboard silhouettes against a sunset backdrop. Armed with only scissors and old boxes, Marshall manages to create stunning vignettes ranging from the humorous to the awe-inspiring. 

In one whimsical photo, Marshall looks like he’s riding a pegasus but in another, he’s arguing with the grim reaper

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Some moments are beyond words.

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“The cutouts don’t look like much at first,” Marshall told the Photo Argus in 2015. “They’re rough, held together by duct tape. But when they’re backlit, all their imperfections fall away. I’m always surprised by what I get.”

Marshall works with photographers to get the photos just right. He told Photo Argus the project makes him feel like a kid again because he gets to work on the floor, draw something, cut it out and then go outside to play with it. The artist’s favorite Sunset Selfies are ones that have a punchline. 

“I offered to drive on our date, but Supergirl said she knew a shortcut,” Marshall captioned one image

The photo shows him in midair, grabbing Supergirl’s leg, as she takes flight, to hitch a ride. 

“Looking back on it, Cookie Monster Daycare was a terrible choice for my little gingerbread boy,” Marshall said in a different photo.

This piece features silhouettes of Cookie Monster and Marshall bickering as a sad gingerbread boy sulks in between them. 

Marshall began the project in 2014 when he spent a summer in Maine. He gave himself 30 days to complete Sunset Selfies with a few more rules: no help, no editing props into photos and he could only use tools from around the house. Since then, the artist has kept up the DIY effort.

If you enjoyed this story, check out the winners of this aerial photography contest.

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