French street artist and photographer JR recently pulled off an optical trick worthy of a master magician. Over the course of a few days, the mastermind made the iconic Louvre Pyramid vanish into the façade of the Musée du Louvre behind it. Through the use of giant photographic prints, JR shrouds the landmark to create an optical illusion on a grand scale.
Created for his newest show JR au Louvre, the installation serves to encourage his viewers to take an active role when looking at the work. To correctly understand the piece requires one to move to the correct angle, a physical shift of perspective that allows one to see the work in its entirety. This stance is meant to challenge his audience to participate in the art. Using a purposeful black and white photo collage, as is his trademark technique, JR distinguishes the massive imagery from others that “invade daily public space.”
By defacing one of the most photographed monuments in the world, JR causes one to reflect on ideas of imagery and cultural symbols in terms of identity. As his show write-up explains: “His dramatic intervention fashion highlights the question of the role of images in the era of globalization and their multicast, the intimate sphere to mass use.”