Like many of us, world-renowned artist JR is looking forward to the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. To mark the momentous occasion, he has traveled to the Brazilian city and installed two stunning outdoor artworks across its landscape. Each massive piece depicts a larger-than-life athlete who cleverly interacts with his surroundings—one figure uses a tall building as a high jump beam while the other takes a dive into the ocean.
The logistical challenges of hoisting these cut-out photographs into the air was solved using building scaffolding. These complex and intricate metal structures serve as their supports, creating a juxtaposition of cold rigidity with the graceful fluidity of the human body.
One of JR’s installations is modeled after a real Olympic athlete. The high jumper—whose body playfully overlaps across three building floors—represents Mohamed Younes Idriss, a 27-year-old from Sudan who lives and trains in Germany. “He missed out on qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics,” JR wrote on Instagram, “but he is there somehow.” Both pieces, which took nearly a year to plan, are available to view during the games.