Alright, hipsters and Hellenists alike, please take this post as it's intended: in good fun. French photographer Léo Caillard and art director Alexis Persani have created a series of photos where the Louvre's classical statues are dressed up with modern clothes. The 'Street Stone' photography series is not only hilarious to see, but also demonstrate the huge cultural shift society has undergone throughout the centuries, since the original sculptures were created.

All images were created with photoshop and the use of a live model: Caillard first photographed the sculptures and then had his friends strike similar poses, wearing the intended outfit. He would then dress the sculptures using Photoshop as well as Persani’s retouching skills. The result is incredible, and it shows how much we are trained to literally judge a man by the clothed on his back. Take the re-imaged statue of Aristaios, son of Apollon and patron god of cattle, fruit trees, hunting, husbandry and bee-keeping, below: in the François Joseph Bosio original from about 1800, the statue looks powerful and contemplative, in the clothed version, he actually looks like a hipster... and a denim model. For those of you looking to see all the statues--some Hellenic, others Christian or even more contemporary--visit

There is a lot of outrage over the project, and a lot of love as well. Very few people seem to just go 'meh' and move on. To some, dressing the statues in this manner--Photoshop, modern clothes--is not only disrespectful to the Gods and people portrayed, but also the original artists. Myself, I'm in the 'love' section. I think the photography reveals a shallowness in human nature without taking away from the statues at all. If we had made a statue today, would he or she be wearing Ray-Bans? And do we appreciate the beauty of the statue more now we can relate to his beauty in a modern way? The clothes have given us a benchmark: we can now judge them against modern males, and Aristaios can compete with the fittest of them. On the other hand, that we automatically place judgment upon the beauty of the statue now he's clothed--something we might not have done when we still considered the statue solely a work of art--tells us something about our frame of mind and our society, and I'm not sure its speaking to the best part of it. This is why I love this project.

I can't speak for the deities and people portrayed in the non-Hellenic statues, but I think the ancient Hellenic heroes and Theoi would not mind one bit being portrayed in a way that is desirable to us: when they were created (or when the images they were based on were created), they were created to be attractive the ancient Hellenes. In fact, I think they might enjoy the attention. That said, some of the fashion choices are atrocious, but mostly in the non-Hellenic department; Jesus in a denim shirt? Yikes!

What do you think of the project? Does it raise your ire, or can you appreciate the statement? What do you interpret the Theoi think of it? I'd love to hear your opinion.