A pair of stunned cyclists from the S. Main neighborhood pull into an empty, gravel lot near 62 E.H. Crump, where French artist Julien de Casabianca has completed one of several impressive paper murals currently on view throughout the city. "So what do you think of Memphis?" one of the cyclists asks, looking up at the, six-story masonry building and de Casabianca's monumental reproduction of the little girl from
- Chris Davis
- Julien de Casabianca
William-Adolphe Bouguereau's painting, At the Foot of the Cliff. The laconic artist purses his lips and squints into the bright, hot sunlight. "I do not know," he says. "I have only seen the walls."
But he's seen a lot of walls.
"I have been invited all around the world," the artist says, describing work that's taken him from Moscow to Mumbai. Sometimes called the Robin Hood of street art, he borrows characters from regional collections and blows them up wall-sized in public places where everybody can see.
For the Memphis leg of his Outings Project, de Casabianca worked with locals to select 20 characters from work in the Brooks Museum's permanent collection. Then he applied temporary murals of those characters to buildings on Cooper, Lamar, Park, Highland, Central, Perkins, Broad, Frayser Boulevard, Watkins, and other locations all over town. There's a two-story installation from Carroll Cloar's Wedding Party on G.E. Patterson. A 20-foot detail from Luca Giordano's The Slaying of the Medusa can be found on Summer.
The Brooks launched a related Instagram photography contest October 1st. They're asking participants to interact with the art and use the hashtags #brooksmuseum and #outingproject.
"You've only seen walls?" the cyclist asks de Casabianca. "Yes," he confirms stoically. "I have only seen the walls."
Brooks Outside is one way for the museum to give its permanent collection some temporary context, but there are indoor events on the horizon, too. Brooks is partnering with IRIS Chamber Musicians for a series of art-inspired musical performances. Acclaimed violinist Midori joins IRIS for a Sunday afternoon performance, October 14th.
Brooks Outside: Outings Project, all fall, all over Memphis