By Michelle Park.
In early June, a Cuban empress took part in a guerilla performance in Venice. Further back in February at Court Square, a Long Island City-based gallery, a Thai artist in a full denim look and fading orange hair was seen “painting with history in a room filled with men and funny names.” And recently on the web, a bunch of classical statues were caught stealing the most upbeat finds at the Salvation Army in Williamsburg.
All of the exciting facts above are true, except for the last: first of all, that Salvation Army has been under “renovations” since January 2012. Most importantly, none of these ancient stone figures has taken the great underwater trek from the Louvre Museum merely for a shopping spree in New York City.
The real explanation for the fashionable sculptures came from Léo Caillard: “I was walking across the Louvre in Paris as I do two or three times a month,” the Paris-based photographer recalled. “When I saw all the sculptures, I said to myself—it would be pretty fun to see them dressed.” This is exactly how “Hipster in Stone” was born.
The “Night at the Museum” fantasy only seemed to exist within Ben Stiller’s world, but the collaborative duo Caillard and photo retoucher Alexis Persani made the crazy happen, without any fingerprints involved. Caillard started by shooting the statues from afar. He then casted the appropriate models with matching physiques of the Greek Agora sculptures, dressed them in contemporary hipster clothing and shot their elegant stances in a studio space. The lights, of course, were adjusted accordingly to recreate the museum’s spotlight conditions. Through this rather strenuous process, Caillard arrived at the first raw shot of his imagination. Once the detailed shooting came to a close, all the images were sent off to Persani for post-production work for a second round of dreadful clicking.
Léo Caillard is currently working on a new series, but to directly quote him: “I cannot tell you right now, as I like to create a surprise.” However, at the end, he did include a very promising wink—so do keep your eyes open for his upcoming surprise on his website.