Amateur photographer Pekka Jonsson uses a very tight budget to remake the old iconography of martyrs and saints into something much, much geekier.

Pekka walked us through the process:

I am an amateur photographer, so everything is always done on a very tight budget, impressively close to none. These pictures are done in my cellar with a small Ikea lamp as light source for which Icut out a piece of cardboard to give the light the right shape and that nice Caravaggio style chiaroscuro, and the backdrop is just some old black bedlinen. Also the vestements are mostly bedlinens or old pieces of apparel found rooting around the back of the closets. The only parts that may have some value are the props, mostly Lego Star Wars, but I had those lying around anyways.

The models are my girlfriend, my friends and me, and I try to match the subject with the person, so the role playing fan has the original Italian D&D box and the gamer has the X-Box pad.

And as for inspiration, well:

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As for the why, well, it always starts for the “Lulz”. I get a cool visual idea and then, trying to explain it to other people I start coming up with a philosophy behind it. Living in Italy we are so steeped in Catholic Iconography it is difficult to walk more than a hunderd paces without encountering some kind of saintly depiction, be it a Madonna, a Jesus or martyrs, it is heavily ingrained in our culture. Personally, I’m an atheist, but I can anyway see how beautiful some of these pieces of art are. Then I started thinking about how geek culture has evolved over the last years. Some passions which would have earned you laughs or bullying when I was younger, now are part of the mainstream pop culture. So, striking a, probably to easy, parallel with the beginning of Christianity, I wanted to portray the martyrs and the saints of this mainstreaming of geek culture, the people who suffered through the niche years so everybody else could be saved by the Geeks.

But mostly it’s for the fun of it and because it looks cool.

Here a few others, with more available on Pekka’s site.


Contact the author at katharine@io9.com.

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