Julien de Casabianca, an artist and filmmaker, visited the Louvre last year and was struck with an idea when he saw an Ingres painting of a female prisoner in a corner of the museum. Tucked unceremoniously, the painting practically was screaming for freedom – something Julien heard and took a plan of action upon.
The idea was to free her, both figuratively and literally, so he reproduced her figure out onto the public. Sure, people may not be familiar with the painting or even the artist, but at least this way, the image is exposed and seen by the hundreds of people outside who might not even ever visit the Louvre. Through this single idea, the Outings Project was created.
Since sharing pictures of the first ever artwork online, there have been about 100 people from 80 cities worldwide who have “freed” similar anonymous characters from master paintings and pasted them in public spaces. You can see them in cities like Barcelona, Chicago, London, Rome, and everywhere else.
Julien says the global reaction and participation was completely unexpected and unplanned. However, he embraces the idea and enthusiasm. With the tagline “Moved from the museum walls to the streets,” the project has attracted the attention of over 10 museums worldwide already, such as Madrid and Poland, engaging Julien to “play with their art in public.”
His response is just as engaging, especially when naysayers may believe that artworks may be taken out of context or without attribution. He shares, “we don’t want to tell you something that you don’t know, and we don’t want people to feel ignorant. You have just to feel that [the artwork] is ancient and shifted, you have just to be touched by the emotion, by the esthetic, by the art.”
Here are some pictures, copyright their respective owners:
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