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Most people wouldn’t want to cross paths with the children found in these Michael Mararian illustrations. Brandishing guns, drinking Absinthe and participating in self-mutilation, it’s safe to say that these toddlers are more than a little disturbed. Since Mararian also renders his subjects in a realistic manner, it’s scary to think that these kids are based on real life individuals.

However, that’s not how Michael Mararian sees it. The Brooklyn and Buffalo-based artist explains that he employs children as subjects often to, “explore the dark humor behind social and psychological issues.” The juxtaposition between the innocence of youth and the heavy concepts depicted in his paintings are supposed to be twisted yet humorous. Though that is his intent, he also encourages viewers to interpret his creations on their own terms.