You are how you dress, even when you’re a pasty white statue gussied up in hipster clothes. In his latest collection “Hipsters in Stone,” French photographer Leo Caillard set out to make a statement on the meaning of clothing in modern society.
It’s a pretty darn funny one. In the photos, hundreds-year-old statues appear to be wearing sunglasses, cuffed pants, plaid shirts and ironic T-shirts, and the stoic expressions and lazy reclining postures of the classical statues are all too fitting of the devil-may-care hipster attitude. Throw some skinny jeans on a sculpture, and suddenly naked statues no longer seem like distant relics; they’re relatable, even. If you look long enough at the photos, the poses of the statues start to remind you of snapshots you’ve seen on Instagram.
Caillard got the idea after spending a day at the Louvre, according to Feature Shoot. He snapped photos of individual statues and took pictures of models standing in the exact same pose. He then superimposed the two matching images to create a realistic portrait.
Interesting, that Caillard should choose hipster clothes for his project. Why not uptown chic outfits? Or punk rocker garb? Both are also modern, and strongly associated with a particular lifestyle.
Here in Portland, arguably a mecca of hipsters, no one identifies themselves as hipster. You might easily recognize them, but it’s hard to describe what about their appearance, exactly, makes them hipster. You might say it’s the skinny jeans, for sure, but it’s also the plaid shirts, lace-up boots, the black leggings, the grungy hair, the bow ties, suspenders, curled moustaches, grandma glasses, the rocker tees, the thrift shop fur coat, the 1920s hat. It’s all that, and more.
Perhaps the better characterization of hipsters is their strong refusal to identify with any one label. You can become whoever you want to be. Take pieces of other subcultures; make them your own. Grab, modify, change weird, random, outdated styles.
With a simple switch of clothing, old things – whether it’s vintage boots, or an old statue — can take on new meaning.