Inspired by the work of old masters, Madrid-based street artist Julio Anaya Cabanding frees famous paintings from museum walls and brings them to the urban environment. But Cabanding is not an art thief—he’s actually just a very talented artist. Using graffitied city walls and deteriorating buildings as his canvas, he recreates iconic paintings with uncanny detail, ornate frames, and clever shadows.
Cabanding’s work gives the classic paintings new meaning and allows viewers to experience it in an unusual setting. “The result is not only a painting that pretends to be a painting and a relationship with an environment,” says Cabanding. “It is also the action of taking the picture of the museum, stealing the image… and the sacrum of the institution to put it in another place, in a place where it is never seen or seen in a different way.”
One of Claude Monet’s waterlily paintings appears to hang alone on an old rusted wall, and Rembrandt’s Self-Portrait hangs inside an abandoned home in Malaga, Spain. Even Girl with a Pearl Earring has been displaced—Cabanding’s rendition of the famous Vermeer masterpiece is displayed on an undisclosed, spray-painted wall in Germany.
To keep up with Cabanding’s painterly street art, you can follow him on Instagram.