While visiting the Louvre last last year, artist and filmmaker Julien de Casabianca was struck by an Ingres painting of a female prisoner tucked unceremoniously into a corner of the museum. He suddenly had an idea: what if he could somehow free her—both figuratively and literally—by reproducing her figure on a public street. People may not know the painting, or even the artist, but at least the image would be seen by potentially hundreds or even thousands more people who may never visit the Louvre.
From that fairy tale origin was born Outings, “a world participative project” that aims to broaden the reach of fine art. Outings encourages people to photograph works of art featuring anonymous subjects at their local museums, then print them and paste them on walls throughout their towns or cities. (The project offers a limited number of grants available to help with printing costs.) Participants then photograph their postings and submit the examples to the Outings website or its social media pages.
In an email to Hyperallergic, Casabianca explained that he’s now touring 12 cities in the United States bringing the anonymous people from paintings to the anonymous people on the streets. He said he tries to put the figures up in poor neighborhoods “where people need beauty.”
“Our mission is not to repair the world, but we can help,” he said. “And we always have great moments putting these works up, interacting with inhabitants and seeing how they love these great paintings.”
A Global Art Project Brings Museum Artworks to Urban Streets: