French Street Artist JR Will Make the Louvre’s Pyramid Disappear This Summer

The artist is known for his deceptive use of perspective.

The Louvre. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
The Louvre. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
The French artist's upcoming project will be installed at Paris' Louvre Museum.

The French artist’s upcoming project will be installed at Paris’ Louvre Museum.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The French street artist JR announced that he will showcase his next project at Paris’ Louvre this summer. JR will install a public artwork outside of the iconic museum in the Cour Napoléon, the main courtyard.

According to the museum‘s website, the artist “has set his sights on one of the Louvre’s symbols, the Pyramid, which he intends to transform with a surprising anamorphic image.”

Through the use of portraiture, the artist proposes to eliminate the pyramid using the principle of anamorphosis—a distortion of perspective which requires the viewer to occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image. The artist noticed that from a certain point of view, the bottom of the pyramid fades into the façade of the museum.

The artist's new work will be installed at the iconic museum's courtyard. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The artist’s new work will be installed at the iconic museum’s courtyard.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

It will certainly be interesting to observe how JR’s plans unfold when working within the self-imposed limitations of his trademark black-and-white format.

The French daily Le Figaro reported that the I.M. Pei designed steel-and-glass pyramid is the museum’s third most popular work after Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and the iconic Venus de Milo. The appropriation of the popular attraction’s surface thus poses a unique challenge for the artist.

“The most important thing is where I put my photos and the meaning they take on depending on the place,” he said. Indeed, the artist’s public works are inextricably linked to their location.

The artist's previous work in a Rio de Janeiro favela also used perspective as a core theme. Photo: jr-art.net

The artist’s previous work in a Rio de Janeiro favela also used perspective as a core theme.
Photo: jr-art.net

The use of perspective is a theme that the JR has used frequently. His project in the favelas of Río de Janeiro could only be seen from a certain position. Elsewhere, projects in South Africa and New York City were viewable only from above.

The artist previously installed a large-scale work covering Paris’ Pantheon, and made headlines in 2014 with his haunting exhibition at an Ellis Island hospital in New York City.

“JR at The Louvre” runs at Musée du Louvre, Paris from May 25 – June 28, 2016


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