While most art lovers visit world-renowned art galleries to see famous masterpieces, some might be lucky enough to come across iconic historical paintings on the side of public buildings. French street artist and filmmaker Julien de Casabianca is known for pasting neoclassical paintings onto unexpected, inner-city surfaces as part of his ongoing Outings Project.
The series began in 2014 when Casabianca visited the Louvre and felt empathy for a glum-looking girl in the corner of a painting. “I had a ‘Prince Charming’ impulse,” he explained. “I wanted to free her from the castle to give her a second life.” Casabianca snapped a photo of the painting on his phone, printed it out, and pasted it on a building in Paris. Since then, the artist has liberated countless painterly subjects, transporting them “from museum walls to the streets.”
His most recent mural art sees William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s solemn-looking subject from Au pied de la falaise (1886), scaled up and pasted onto the side of a factory building in Memphis, Tennessee. The giant, seven-story girl appears to sit on the fire escape staircase of the industrial building, gazing out over the city. The mural is part of Brooks Outside, an outdoor installation program organized by Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, which has Bouguereau’s original painting as part of their collection.
You can see this piece for yourself at 62 E.H. Crump Blvd, Memphis until November 2018.