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JR Installs Giant Athletes Interacting with Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics

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.

JR: Website | Facebook | Instagram
via [designboom]

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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