ARTS & CULTURE
03/01/2012 09:53 am ET Updated Mar 01, 2012

Cartoon Characters Become The Underclass In Photographer's Series

We all bemoan the moment when we realize that our childhood has come to pass, and that we must face adulthood head-on with proper work attire and a cup of acrid black coffee.

Perhaps most depressing part, however, is the absence of our former childhood idols and heroes. If we forget that important presentation for work, Spiderman won't swing it over to us, and Strawberry Shortcake certainly won't give us a reassuring smile. Even if they were here, would they be able to help or would their lack of real-world applications cause them to be brushed aside like so many others?

Batman, 33 years old, night petrol pump attendant.

What if cartoon characters from our past actually made that transition with us? Would they be able to remind us of all the good inherent in the world? In Benjamin Béchet's vision, they are just as road-weary and lost as we are. The French photographer staged several scenes starring your favorite characters and inserts them in arguably less-than-desired circumstances, making a point of how we treat people in our everyday lives. Exhausted and down-on-their-luck, our friends that had us glued to the escapism of television look like they could use a vacation themselves, if only they had the means to do so.

Minnie, 41 years old, cleaner.

"Je suis Winnie l'Ourson (I'm Winnie The Pooh)" is an experiment in creating the "other." Based on the many self-identifying micro-groups of Rome, Béchet examines the process of creating "them" as opposed to "us." It looks at our ideas regarding marginalized peoples and confronts them with tongue-in-cheek images. Béchet says, "I have put superheroes, icons [and] celebrities known throughout the world into these marginal shoes. [It] serve[s] as a reminder that what you see is never what you get, that people are always more complex, that each identity is only partial and that we are all one, none and a hundred thousand."

View a slideshow of the work below, and let us know what you think of Minnie's new occupation in the comments section.

PHOTO GALLERIES
Benjamin Béchet - "Je suis Winnie l'Ourson"

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