Emojis mean everything and they mean nothing at the same time. They’re completely personal and completely universal. They’re really quite stupid. And they’re the best thing that ever happened to our generation. They deserve to be observed and worshipped individually.
These are the words of Liza Nelson, an artist adapting the 20×20 pixel animated portraits into realist photographs.
By finding, posing and sculpting emojis in real life, Nelson is one of the many artists recreating the emoji as an icon of our time. In honor of the first emoji art and design show happening in New York City this week, here is a compilation of the best emoji masterpieces on the web–Vincent Van Gogh and Salvador Dali alike.