Item #: SCP-1236
Object Class: Safe
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-1236 1 to 4 are to be draped with black, light-blocking fabric and kept in locked cases when not being studied. These cases may be stored in the same storage area. The locks securing each case will be individually keyed. Upon removal from the case, any of SCP-1236 1 to 4 will be placed upon a floor-mounted easel, still draped in the black fabric. Only when the set-up team is safely behind the paintings, will the black fabric covers be pulled back to reveal the images painted upon the canvas.
Description: SCP-1236 is a series of 4 paintings, labeled SCP-1236 1 through 4. Each is 100cm high by 75cm wide and are framed with plain, black wooden frames. They are painted in a style reminiscent of Keith Haring, though signed on the back with the name “Serl”. When viewed through a remote viewing device such as a monitor camera, by way of a mirror, through a sheet of glass, or a recorded image such as video footage or still picture, the images feature a colored background with a differently colored figure in the center of the image. The figure is humanoid in shape, with no physical features other than head, arm, leg and torso outlines, as is typical of Haring’s work.
When viewed directly, however, each image takes on a specific characteristic, depending upon the viewer. The original image is not visible to the viewer, and instead an alternative image is seen.
Following investigation into 4 staff suicides and multiple emotional/social problems reported to staff psychologists, non D-class personnel are barred from directly viewing any of the SCP-1236 set of paintings.
SCP-1236-1: This canvas will show a full-length portrait of a person who is the viewer’s ideal of physical perfection, based upon sexual orientation. This is not an image of any real person, but is a representation of every desire and subconscious drive brought together in a single individual. This individual represents the ultimate in physical and sexual attractiveness to the viewer. This impression works down to the mental/personality level, with the viewer being able to describe in vivid detail aspects of the portrait’s personality and character traits that will make him/her even more attractive to the viewer.
SCP-1236-2: This canvas will show an image of the viewer him-or-herself as a physically perfect specimen. They view themselves as the ultimate in attractiveness and desirability. Regardless of actual appearance, and how extreme the change to become “perfect”, the viewer will still recognize him-or-herself as the subject of the image. Again, this works to the personality level, any personality flaws are removed and more desirable traits included.
SCP-1236-3: This canvas features a portrait of the viewer’s current or most recent significant other. This image, much like the previous two, projects an image of physical and mental perfection. The viewer sees their significant other rendered in the most physically and mentally appealing manner possible. Any actual imperfections are eliminated and the subject is seen in the “absolutely best possible light”.
SCP-1236-4: This canvas reveals another portrait of the viewer, but in this case, in the “worst possible light”. Each imperfection is magnified and character flaws are obvious and horrendous. Upon seeing this image, the viewer is given the impression that he/she is a horribly repulsive person and that there is no way any person could ever be attracted to him/her.
All four of the paintings were found in August, [REDACTED] in an art gallery in New York City.
When interviewed, the owner of the gallery could not recall where he had acquired them, but had 6 paintings in the series. He only displayed them for part of a day and reported that they made people "very uncomfortable". The owner, who wears glasses due to severe myopia, reported taking the paintings off display, but not before selling two of them to an unnamed buyer for several thousand dollars each. The remaining paintings were transferred to the Foundation, but no gallery records exist to show who may have purchased the other two paintings in the series. The owner of the gallery reported having taken the information of the individual who purchased the paintings, but that the information had somehow been deleted from his database, along with all other information related to the six paintings.