Some people collect coins, others prefer stamps or beer cans… as for James Birch, he collects old postal cards in which babies are seen in surreal situations. That unusual hobby eventually produced the book Babylon: Surreal Babies, a compilation of these odd pieces published by Dewi Lewis Publishing, and commented by art critic George Melly.
The little children are here shown in situations as bizarre as flying high in a balloon, boiling in a cauldron, and resting among clouds. When not disturbing, the images are pretty comic.
Birch acquired his first postcards when he was a student in the French city of Aix-en-Provence. His fanaticism, however, came only in the 80’s, when he saw an exhibition where those artworks were shown as a main inspiration for the Dadaist and Surrealist art movements.
The postcards, mostly made between 1900 and 1920, were found in countries from all over Europe, especially in Germany. Artists like Salvador Dali and Paul Éluard were also collectors, drawing inspiration from them for their own creations.
Site: Babylon: Surreal Babies