“What is a hipster?” The question has been posed and answered time and time again, but as an N+1 symposium on the topic averred, “All descriptions of hipsters are doomed to disappoint.” Even so, everyone has the image of a hipster in their head: large sunglasses, stylized haircuts, old-timey barbs, skinny jeans, pastel shirts. Sure, that’s reductive and it doesn’t necessarily encompass the entire demographic, but you know you know someone (or several people) who fit the bill.
So does photographer Léo Caillard. He photographed hip Parisians in trendy garb, and mapped their clothes onto nude Hellenic sculptures taken from the Louvre. The result? “Hipsters in stone.”
The series of doctored photographs imagines the ancient Greeks as they might appear in an Urban Outfitters catalog. Caillard drapes the marble persons in fitted flannel shirts, slim slacks, and denim. He frames their finely wrought mugs with pairs of Ray-Bans that accentuate their apathetic gaze. The full beards and wispy mustaches complete the look.
Caillard, whose portfolio consists of digitized portraits, says he thought of the idea during his bimonthly walks through the Louvre. “I was looking at all the Greek sculptures and thinking it would be quite fun and interesting to dress them,” he tells Co.Design. He wondered what clothing would add to the figures, and how contemporary fashion could alter their dispositions.
The sculptures were shot in-situ at the museum, before Caillard set out on a casting call around Paris looking for models who matched the proportions and physique of the artworks. The live models were then photographed in Caillard’s studio wearing typical hipster costumes. Using Photoshop, he transposed the clothes onto the statues, adjusting for lighting and shadow. The digital wizardry makes the sculptures pop like they never have before.
As for his own definition of what the hipster is or “means,” Caillard is vague. He says that the concept of the hipster is “the complete opposite of an iconic Greek statue from the past,” but stops short of explaining how. (Admittedly, the differences should be apparent.) For him, “it’s the mix of the two concepts, very far from each other, that I find pretty interesting.”