This artist recreates iconic paintings and hides them in abandoned locations, and the contrast is stunning

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingOne of Julio Anaya Cabanding’s replicas.

Spanish artist Julio Anaya Cabanding has a deft hand, and he enjoys putting it to good (and unusual) use.

Cabanding recreates famous works of art and hangs the paintings in abandoned places: inside dilapidated buildings, layered over graffiti, and so on.

Though his recreations – of paintings by Monet, Vermeer, and others – look framed, Cabanding’s detailed process is entirely two-dimensional. By layering colours and shades, he’s able to create the illusion of frames. This, juxtaposed by the grittiness of abandoned environments, makes his work a feast for the eyes.

Keep scrolling to learn more about his process, and to see some of his edgiest displays.


Cabanding paints adjacent to a photo of the actual painting to ensure accuracy.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingCabanding at work in his studio.

Cabanding uses acrylic paint, and often mixes his own colours to make sure his replica is on par with the original.


First he sketches an outline, and then he fills it all in.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingOne of Cabanding’s recreations in the early phases.

He’s truly a master of recreations: you can barely tell which one is real and which is a replica.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingCabanding painting.

Here, Cabanding recreates “Head of Study” by Fernando Labrada Martin. Look closely at his sketch – you can see the frame is included.


The finished products are stunning.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingCabanding’s Vermeer replica.

This is a replica of “A Maid Asleep” by Johannes Vermeer. The original hangs in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and was painted around 1656.


Cabanding often hangs his replicas in places that match the vibe of the painting.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingCabanding’s iteration of ‘Poppy Field’ by Claude Monet.

The blue sky of Cabanding’s Monet replica is intensified by the blue wall on which it hangs.


Like this replica of a Jenaro Pérez Villaamil painting, which is enhanced by the dilapidated brick underneath it.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingCabanding’s ‘View of the Castle in Gaucín,’ originally by Jenaro Pérez Villaamil.

Sometimes, Cabanding hangs his replicas indoors.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingInside one of the run-down buildings.

Inside a run-down building, on top of black and blue graffiti, you’ll notice Cabanding’s replica of “The Death of Marat” by Jacques-Louis David, first painted in 1793.


And other times, outdoors.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingCabanding’s painting station.

Cabanding sometimes paints on location for inspiration, as evidenced on his Instagram.


Even in the most desolate areas, a Gauguin can be found, all thanks to Cabanding’s hard work.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandangIn the distance: Cabanding’s replica of ‘Lilac Bouquete’ by Paul Gauguin.

The frame on this one looks totally realistic.


The stark contrast between “high” art and “lowly” places is exactly what Cabanding is going for.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingA replica displayed over street graffiti.

His mission is to remove artwork from “cold” museum settings in order to help us look at it in a different way.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingPainting over graffiti.

This is Cabanding’s replica of “Time Defeated by Love, Beauty and Hope,” originally by Simon Vouet in 1627.


So far, he’s been successful.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingCabanding’s replica.

This recreation of Pere Borrell del Caso’s “Huyendo de la crítica” looks like it’s jumping out of the wall.


His Instagram has almost 4,000 followers, and his artwork has been exhibited in Spain.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandingCabanding’s work on display.

It goes to show that art is unlimited — and, as Cabanding has proved, so is the potential of spaces we might ordinarily dismiss.

Courtesy Julio Anaya CabandangOne of Cabanding’s setups.

When Rembrandt painted this self-portrait, he probably never thought it would someday hang above a cracked lawn chair.

And for Cabanding, that means: mission accomplished.

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