Photo by Gene Colon for Untapped Cities
Paris is full of clever trompe l’oeil but French artist JR has taken it to a whole new level, making the iconic I.M. Pei glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum disappear in the latest installation. Using the iconic large-scale, black and white print method he has utilized in the project “Unframed” around the world, JR plays on old and new in a clever way. The Louvre pyramid is one of the most photographed places in the world, and according to the Louvre the location of the most selfies. JR’s work “poses questions about artistic creation, the role of images in the age of globalization, and their widespread use, from intimate circles to mass distribution,” writes the museum.
In JR’s own words, he says:
By erasing the Louvre Pyramid, I am highlighting the way Pei made the Louvre relevant for his time, while bringing the Louvre back to its original state. The Pyramid is one of the most photographed French monuments. I am re-directing its energy, because people are going to have to move around it. They are going to look for the best angle to get the full impact of the anamorphic image, and really make the Pyramid disappear.
Speaking about whether work is a commentary on the controversy over the pyramid initially when it was built or similar issues at the nearby Colonnes des Buren, the Pompidou Center architecture and more, he says “Making the Pyramid disappear is a way for me to distance myself from my subject. The feud between traditional and modern tastes in art and architecture is nothing new…My work is about transmitting history to better understand the present, and find echoes with our own times. What happened in the past is part of a broader context that can still have relevance for today.”
The installation will be up until June 27th.
Next, see JR’s Unframed exhibition in the abandoned hospitals of Ellis Island and his pieces for Walking New York last year.