The iconic glass pyramid in front of the Louvre disappeared from view today. The magic trick, which is a result of street artist JR’s creative intervention, will last until June 27, 2016.
JR requalified the location by creating a large-scale optical collage. He camouflaged the pyramid with a wallpaper surface that is also a massive black and white print of the Louvre’s historical building. Thus, the pavilion, designed in 1989 by world’s famous Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei and since then a symbol of the Louvre, appears to “mirror” the renowned museum beside it. At particular angles, its facade dissolves entirely in the optical illusion.
The spectacular effect captures with the overlaying of image and building’s exterior and their contrasting color temperatures.
The artist specializes in photographic collages, filmmaking and action art. His creative pursuits seek to interact with the passer-by and make them reimagine their city’s identity. He offers pervasive artworks that transform the urban scene into the biggest gallery owned by the artist, as JR jokes.
Making the Pyramid disappear is a way for me to distance myself from my subject. The feud between traditional and modern tastes in art and architecture is nothing new. The Pyramid, Buren’s columns at the Palais-Royal, and the Pompidou Center—all of these caused controversy. My work is about transmitting history to better understand the present, and find echoes with our own times, explains the artist.
The flâneur is called to engage with JR’s provocative art that spreads on public buildings across the globe – in suburban Paris, in the Middle-East, or the broken bridges in Africa, and now at the heart of Paris.
The installation is accompanied by a 24-hour program at the museum’s auditorium, which will start on 28 May at 3 p.m., including various talks, films, concerts and workshops.
By: Sabina Karleva