Art + Design

The epic optical illusion involving the Louvre pyramid you have to see


By Su Fen Tan

The epic optical illusion involving the Louvre pyramid you have to see

The last time JR took over the façade of the Louvre was in 2016, where he wrapped a large photographic piece around the iconic glass pyramid, blending it in with the backdrop so it “disappeared”. To celebrate the landmark’s 30th anniversary, the Louvre has once again invited the French street artist to work his magic—and he sure upped the ante.

On 30 March, JR unveiled The Secret of the Great Pyramid. With the help of 400 volunteers, he created a grand-scale anamorphic collage using 2,000 sheets of paper to form the image of a jagged canyon, making it look like the pyramid has sunk into a quarry when viewed from above. It was also an homage to the late filmmaker Agnès Varda, who “loved people, pasting and illusion”, who sadly passed away just before it was unveiled.  




While it took a few days to complete, it had a fleeting life. You won’t be able to see it if you head to Paris now—the paper began to disintegrate and crumple after one day as visitors trod on it.

“The images, like life, are ephemeral. Once pasted, the art piece lives on its own,” JR wrote on Instagram. “The sun dries the light glue and with every step, people tear pieces of the fragile paper. The process is all about participation of volunteers, visitors, and souvenir catchers.”




Follow JR on Instagram to keep up with his latest works. 

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