Movie star, playboy, philanthropist, seasoning for a bland dinner. The exquisite, photo-realistic portrait of Robert Downey Jr. is made of nothing more than table salt and pepper. And while one might be hard-pressed to come up with a reason for why a half–Robert Downey Jr., half–Iron Man portrait exists, you can't deny that your day is just a little better for it.
Little to nothing is known about the origin of this portrait. The artist is likely German, given the pictured Tafelsalz. The portrait also appears to be part of a cultish Internet sensation called the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (Gishwes), given the other salt and pepper portraits that have surfaced. Apparently, Gishwes asked the Internet to "Make a portrait of either Robert Downey, Jr. or Ironman made entirely of salt and pepper." Gishwes tasks aren't posted publicly, but past submissions have included dresses made of bacon, a public statue of a dinosaur made entirely out of sanitary napkins and prom pics in a porta-potty.
With salt used to represent the light tones, pepper to represent the dark and premixed gradations for the mid tones, the portrait demonstrates a strong understanding of light and shading. The butcher-paper backing both fits the tone of the medium, and, because it's brown rather than black, white or gray, it avoids interfering with the work. In short, it's a damn good portrait and whoever made it is clearly a seasoned artist. For those of us who can't make amazing portraits out of basic seasonings, we can console ourselves with these Iron Man and Captain America salt and pepper shakers.