A large retrospective at the Vitra Design Museum
Animation in reality, where Disney princesses replace Hollywood stars
Greek photographer Gregory Masouras turns fashion icons into princesses and cartoon villains
Dolce & Gabbana runway show according to Gregory Masouras. Animation in Reality turns models into Disney princesses
Gregory Masouras’s formula for success is contained in a hashtag: #AnimationInReality. As it is often the case with millennials (almost all of them photographers, graphic designers and self-publishers), and as the artist himself explains, the idea was born by chance, during a stroll along Athens streets, while portraying people and sceneries in order to test his new cell phone camera.
After editing the picture of a cloud by transforming it into Batman’s logo, Masouras has started to give shape to his own creativity by replacing the real faces and general features of his models - along with the traits of those modeling and sitting for the world’s most prominent brands and magazines – with faces and features from Walt Disney’s characters. A playful procedure wholly untroubled by copyright laws: while an unluckier creative would have barely gotten away with an instant profile cancellation and a fine, the young Greek photographer received a repost on Instagram by fashion designer Marc Jacobs who was literally charmed by Masouras’s mashup photo portraying Beth Ditto at the American stylist’s Spring-Summer 2016 runway show - the singer having been turned into the infamous Ursula, the terrible Sea Witch from Disney’s Little Mermaid animated film. Rumor has it that even Ditto herself appreciated the mashup.
From then on, Animation in Reality has become a multifaceted concept comprising a site, a constantly growing social account (on Instagram, where it all started, it currently boasts 119.000 followers) and a fashionable yet cultural phenomenon. After Jacobs a list of names from the international fashion jet-set ensued, including Stefano Gabbana, Karl Lagerfeld, Kanye West, Jeremy Scott as well as a subsequent, endless list of actors, singers and other show-biz celebrities.
Disney princesses and princes, together with their antagonists, are not only fun, though; they paradoxically contribute to humanize the world of fashion, taking its protagonists closer to popular imagination and childhood memories. Kim Kardashian’s and Beyoncé’s voluptuous shapes literally melt in the irony of a miniaturized Alice (in Wonderland, of course) looking upwards to admire their gigantic features; provocative, wild performer Lady Gaga becomes Ariel or Cinderella, the nice, reassuring girl next door who sings for the love of her fans; Selena Gomez as Mulan seems the younger sister everyone wants instead of the new star, the unattainable protagonist of the Louis Vuitton adv campaign along with Nicolas Ghesquiere. In this way, almost every day, Animation in Reality plays with transformation and change, mixing actual and virtual reality. Till Disney do them part, one might add.
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