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Classical Sculptures Dressed As Hipsters

We first wrote about Caillard and Persani’s hipster sculptures over a year ago, and since the new works by this duo are just as hilarious, we couldn’t let them go unnoticed!

Whatever they say about not judging a book by its cover, we still do it. French photographer Léo Caillard and art director Alexis Persani illustrate that with their Street Stone photography series, were they dress ancient Louvre’s sculptures into something more trendy and up-to-date. Besides marrying two completely different worlds, the artists also demonstrate a great cultural change that the society has undergone throughout centuries, since the original sculptures were created.

To create these photo manipulations, Caillard first photographed the sculptures and then had his friends strike similar poses, wearing such hipster accessories like the Ray Ban shades, flannel and denim shirts and shorts. He would then dress the sculptures using Photoshop as well as Persani’s retouching skills.

The results are not only hilarious, but also show that clothes have an enormous impact on the way one is perceived.

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What do you think?

  • Kat Herine via Facebook

    I’m not sure “Hipsters” is accurate, but this is an intriguing project.

  • Kabir Sangham via Facebook

    Jeru Behari

  • Ali El Sebai via Facebook

    Léo Caillard and Alexis Persani strike again!

  • Ciana Lani Andersen via Facebook

    Weston Kile hahaha … Hipsters

  • Ronald Harvey via Facebook

    Horrible horrible horrible. Hipsters make everything worse.

  • Mdog

    Well isn’t this just a gigantic anti-climax.

    No thank you.

  • Maddy

    soooo cool!!
    amazing the way that they are dressed and the way that they are standing

  • Sandi Heitz via Facebook

    Very cool.

  • Janet Maneikis via Facebook

    Cool!! Now I will be thinking about this when we visit!!

  • Lynn Caldwell via Facebook

    I hope each era did this in the past as well…and animals – sticking their feathers on etc. Maybe that’s why pigeons keep pooing on statues – they are using it as glue?

  • John Dixon via Facebook


  • Weston Kile via Facebook

    Haha, nice

  • Amber Lara

    Cool! Great outfits for sculpture models!

  • Stanley

    “modern outfits” would also be enough.

  • Alicia Chaparro via Facebook

    Love it!

  • John Chiara

    I am an art enthusiast. I consider myself to be pretty easy going and yes, I have a sense of humor and would rather not get into this. But, the fact that these digital fabrications are being contextualized as actual artwork, getting a lot of good ol’ fun loving press and public comments like “These are hysterical”, “I LOVE THIS!”, “What’s missing are the PBR tallboy cans”. Well, I have no choice but to say this:

    Excuse me, but have any of you ever tried to carve stone? I tried for a while but, damn it is pretty hard to carve stone. It is like the hardest natural substance on our planet to carve into some form or shape.

    So, why would anyone ever spend their entire lives solely in a practice of carving stone? Well because it lasts and if you are going to spend you whole life dedicated to a vision and a hope of one day creating a masterpiece, you would want it to last as long as physically possible. Thinking that in the future the people of the your country and those who carry your name could experience and take pride in the results of all your efforts.

    Even today, there are serious artists that will work their entire lives secretly hoping that at some point they might create a work that could be considered masterful. And I am sure these long deceased sculptors, Who felt they were doing work of a higher purpose, whose works have endured the test of time and are regarded as classics (residing now in the courtyard of the Louvre in Paris), could in no way foresee a day when two pricks (photographer Léo Caillard and photo editor Alexis Persani) would be detached, thoughtless and careless enough to feel entitled to “dress” their sculptures, “as hipsters so they look contemporary and totally badass”. Shooting from a perspective that actively poses these marble statues to model fashion in the genre of a commercial ad campaign. The motivation? So really Leo and Alexis could feel clever and be regarded as “so contemporary and badass” themselves. Yes, that is all there is to it. Sadly indulging in the use of appropriating something of value and meaning into personal irony, a plague that infects all aspects of culture today.

    The classical works played a societal role. Representing historical, religious or mythic figures of importance. The male figure with staff is a representation of Aristaeus, Son of Apollo, by François Joseph Bosio (1768-1845) Louvre Museum Courtyard, Paris, France. In their graceful rendering of form, these artists made work that transcended materiality. Visually signifying a cultures high forms of thinking. The minutia in the sculptural details; their stance, gestures and expressions translated a storyline and often an allegory of the deities they represented. They served a significant purpose to the oral traditions in Western Europe. At the time Aristaeus, Son of Apollo, by François Joseph Bosio was produced Western Europe had a 65% illiteracy rate.

    In the stylistic choices of appropriating these sculptures into the vain and shallow appearance of modeling clothing, Léo Caillard mocks their historical importance. It would be one thing if Léo actually worked with the Louvre on an art piece and physically dressed the statues in the courtyard. That would command some respect. If he were brave enough to do that, I can imagine that the detachment and insulting stupidity that underlies the conception of Léo Caillard’s idea would become crystal clear to those viewing his costuming of statues in the Louvre courtyard,

    Of course this isn’t what he did. That would require him to take a stance, make actual artwork and stand behind it. Why do that when you can dress up your cool friends and pose them just like the sculptures and then “team up with digital mastermind Alexis Persani to digitally rework the marble figures, bringing them into the modern era with plaid shirts, skinny jeans, boat shoes and, of course, Ray-Bans!” This is what Léo Caillard calls “his artwork”. I call that Bullshit. It’s the lowest common denominator, akin to fart jokes.

    Commercial photographers for Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani have posed, lighted and highly stylized male and female models (usually scantily clad) to have the idyllic appearance of classical sculpture. Herb Ritz technically mastered this by making his subjects appear statuesque, lightly oiled and bronzed. There is potential to make serious work here or make work that plays off of and thoughtfully exposes commercial interests / cultural aspects of this type of representation. Léo Caillard fails at this in that the underlying concept in these digital representations is immature and the digital images themselves are unsophisticated technically.

    It’s immaturity and clever manipulations like this that fogs the mind with the concept that doing something profound and of meaning is now cliché. That it is cool that everything is up for grabs for appropriation into irony. In regards to conceptual art, a practical joke. Which, of course if you criticize, well then you’re, like not cool at all. Not like Léo Caillard and photo editor Alexis Persani

    5 to 8 years from now everyone involved in this project will be ashamed. At least they should be. Or possibly Léo Caillard and photo editor Alexis Persani will still be totally detached, unthoughtful and careless..