On Thursday morning, February 2nd, Sophomore Henry Mathis allegedly pulled out his iPhone and took what is certainly—if it is, in fact, real—one of the most powerful photographs of the decade. Mathis’ picture featured the Main Quad lit by some pleasant morning sunshine, a picture he uploaded to Facebook with the caption “can’t believe it’s February.” The picture immediately went viral, stunning thousands and stirring controversy worldwide. “It’s faked. I can tell,” reported a Cornell student on his tumblr account, “I know what February weather is like, and this simply isn’t possible.”
Art critic Johannes Sveru, a curator and art historian at the San Francisco Institute of Art, overheard his colleagues converse about the photo and rushed to his office to investigate the phenomenon himself. “I was totally blown away at first,” Sveru told the Flipside in an exclusive interview, “but after subjecting the photograph to the harshest of scrutiny, using a combination of carbon-14 dating and Photoshop zoom techniques, I just can’t verify that this picture was taken in February.”
Though the controversy and general incredulity is still very palpable, Mathis is sticking by the authenticity of his photograph. Whether or not it actually is February in the picture is up to the viewer to decide, but all agree that the world has never seen anything like this before.