If you're walking along the streets of cities like Paris, Barcelona, and Portland, you might come across the Outings project. It's a worldwide participative event that was initiated by French artist and filmmaker Julien de Casabianaca. People around the globe install obscure figures seen in historical paintings as street art. These subjects now occupy bricks and concrete rather than carefully-prepared canvases. They live among graffitied walls and gaze at passersby, bringing beauty to unexpected places.
Outings began last August after Casabianca visited the Louvre and discovered a bored-looking girl in the corner of a painting. “I had a ‘Prince Charming' impulse,” he explained to Slate. “I wanted to free her from the castle to give her a second life.” Casabianca then snapped a picture on his phone, printed it out, and pasted it on a building in Paris. After that, his friends started to do the same thing, and the project grew from there.
Anyone can participate in Outings. Casabianca offers detailed instructions on how to get involved. In some cases, he even provides small grants for those who can't afford the cost of printing. People in 18 different cities have since set unknown figures free by simply visiting their local art museums.