The Disappearing Pyramid At The Louvre
Illusion is an integral aspect of art and artists have known to create unreal and sometimes a little too real illusions in different manners. These illusions sometimes, are so magnanimous that the reaction from the viewers is strong whether they appreciate it or criticize it. Recently, JR the French artist has created an anamorphosis of the much famed pyramid by I. M. Pei at the Musée du Louvre. This shocking work is accomplished by covering an entire face of the pyramid with a black & white photograph. An illusion of the pyramid having disappeared is created by this black & white image of the museum building behind it.
One of the curators at Louvre, Stéphane Malfettes talks about how it all began when JR expressed his desire to “intervene in a spectacular manner in the public space.” The artist gained popularity with his artwork where he mounted women’s portraits on the facades of buildings in Brazilian favela and also with his global art project – Inside Out.
JR noticed that the selfie phenomenon has so badly taken over the tourists and visitors that the victims of this new fad, in an act to click and snap themselves in front of the magnificent Louvre actually failed to notice the architecture and elegance of it all. As JR stood affront the museum, he noticed that the visitors would pose with their backs turned to the pyramid and the museum with selfie sticks in hand and go on a picture taking spree. While exploring the grounds and observing the people who were visiting Louvre, the artist identified the exact place where the tourists and local visitors were most likely to pose and take pictures and chose it as his starting point. It is at this spot, the artist claims that the pyramid disappears completely and all that is visible is the interaction of the visitors.
This process and the outcome where the artist has managed to completely cover the façade of the pyramid also comments on the recent practice of conglomerates renting out the facades of important monuments for the purpose of advertising. It is the artist’s intent to fight this practice with each of his work strengthening his cause. To further his cause and act on his principle, JR refused to accept any kind of sponsorship proposal.
As a part of this showcase JR au Louvre, which is going to run in the museum till the 27th of June, JR is organizing another precious treasure for connoisseurs and members of the artist community. This 24 hour program will be held at Louvre’s auditorium on 28-29th May and is featuring the participation of stalwarts like Daniel Buren, Felice Varini, Agnès Varda, the model Cara Delevingne and many more.