As Picasso once said, “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” And what better place to give your life away than a supermarket? A Picasso painting is currently on display at a grocery store in Essonne, France, just south of Paris, as part of a project to make great works of art more accessible, ABC News reports.
Picasso painted “L’Atelier” in October 1955 in memory of his close friend, Henri Matisse. And while the painting belongs to the permanent collection of the Centre Pompidou Museum in Paris, it’s apparently very safe in the supermarket: clandestine security, police, and other emergency workers are patrolling the premises to keep an eye on things.
“I am delighted that this work is presented in the midst of pumpkins, watermelons, and beers, where reality is, where people’s lives are,” Serge Lasvignes, president of the Centre Pompidou, told ABC News. “It is not the collection of the Centre Pompidou but that of France, because it is national, and we share it with all French people, wherever they are.”
ABC News cited French outlet Capital, which spoke with customers who were surprised to find the painting during their shopping excursion. One customer said the painting, “does something to me,” while Sylvie Carillon, the mayor of the nearby town of Montgeron, found the display quite touching. “I was very moved to see that even supermarket employees were looking at the painting with big eyes,” Carillon said. “There was a lot of emotion.”
The installation is part of an ongoing attempt to take art masterpieces out of “ordinary locations” in the heart of Paris, squiring them out of high-priced museums and plopping them smack dab in the midst of the public. Previous works have popped up at a courthouse and several prisons. Stirring moment of human emotion on Aisle Six!