Incredible but true: suddenly mythological heroes take on the appearance of the guy next door at the take-out café
Ancient white marble sculptures seem so close yet strangely distant – they stand proud on their pedestal in world-famous museums but we see their image on every-day items like postcards and t-shirts. Artist Léo Caillard made a spoof of the fact: his Louvre photos are dressed in modern sportswear and flashy sunglasses. And suddenly the beholder feels as if he is dealing with the guy next door at the take-out café.
Immediately our neural synapses stand at attention and we can pose a number of questions regarding our culture, our history, fashion, and mass production. But each answer gives way to another thought.
In a video Caillard says: „I noticed that Louvre museum visitors look just like the sculptures they are admiring.“
So, he requested the museum’s permission to switch roles of the sublime art.
He explains why his objects are so popular, in his eyes: „In these uncertain times, people seek beauty, so they turn to Classical antiquity.“ He even postulates a new Renaissance.
Be that as it may, the surprising effect of the photos is a direct result of Caillard’s incredible precision.
Usually he hires artists to take on the pose of the sculpture or he dresses plaster cast models of the original.
The photos – lighting is a key element – are then superimposed on images of the original and corrected digitally.
„Hipsters in Stone“ is the name Caillard gave the collection, in which he jilts the demigods from their throne and catapults them into our time frame.
Conversely Caillard has also superimposed modern icons and placed them on classic antique pedestals in his collection called „Superheroes in Stone“, where Spiderman takes on a position among the Heroes of the Antique hall of fame in the Louvre.
And the beholder is confused: what is real and what is virtual art where movie stars are placed among venerated sculptures.
(18.08.2017, USA: 08.18.2017)